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Severely injured owl recovered, released back into wild after LSU vet school's care

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BATON ROUGE - After surgery and months of recovery at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, a barred owl was released back into the wild Friday afternoon at the Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge.

"This particular bird was found in the wild and presented to us. If they are not found, they could starve to death, unfortunately," Dr. Mark Mitchell said.

Dr. Mitchell, the director of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, says the owl showed up two months ago at the vet school with a severely broken wing and needed surgery to fly again.


"We were able to put an intramedullary pin and some cerclage wire. Nothing different that we would do for a dog, or a human potentially," Dr. Mitchell said.


If performed on a human, this medical procedure would typically cost from $40,000 to $50,000.


Second year vet student, Amy Crumlich, cared for the owl during its recovery while it was kept inside of a special flight cage at the school. 

"It's just awesome. It feels awesome every time we release one. It's such a great feeling
to send them back where they belong," Crumlich said.

Dr. Mitchell has released hundreds of birds and feels the same way about the recovered birds returning to the wild. 

"I never get tired of it. The 12-year-old boy inside me is always tickled pink," Dr, Mitchell said,

The vet also says the owl's injuries likely came from being hit by car and generous donations helped pay for her seamless recovery.

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