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Owl get a new lease on life thanks to a police officer and the World Bird Sanctuary

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St. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KTVI)  – A wounded owl, left for dead, flew back into the wild Wednesday, thanks to a couple of St. Charles County Police officers.

Adam Caupp and Eric Feagans had no idea how to capture the Barred Owl when they found it on Highway 94 near Augusta, but they couldn't just drive on by.

About four o’clock Wednesday afternoon, they had the honor of releasing the bird.

Caupp practiced the release with a stuffed eagle toy first.

Then, he held the owl for the first time since the rescue about 4 weeks ago.

The powerful bird seemed far cry from the wounded one he and his partner found standing near the edge striping of Highway 94 near Klondike Hill.

“We saw a big semi drive by it and almost blew it over.  So we figured something was wrong with it,” Caupp said.

“It was not flying.  She looked pretty banged up.  She looked like she got hit by something, like ‘I need a minute and it hurts’,” said Sherry Seavers of the World Bird Sanctuary.

The owl was blind in one eye and had a bruised or fractured collarbone, she said.

It recovered quickly at the World Bird Sanctuary, even fostering young owls while there.

The officers gave no thought to simply driving by the wounded bird.

“No…my family…we like the birds of prey, anyway,” Caupp said.  “We’ve actually spent some time, taken the kids down to World Bird Sanctuary.  So we’d actually been down there.  That’s how we knew of it.”

Caupp lofted the owl skyward and flew into a nearby tree, clashing with crows already residing there.

“Yeah, he flew right up into the tree; didn’t bother giving us a goodbye but he was happy to be out,” Caupp said.

“She did not come flying back.  She took away.  She was like, ‘I’m out of here.  Thank you.  I’m out.  Thanks guys’,” Seavers laughed.

When the officers found the owl, they called World Bird Sanctuary.  A worker there walked them through the “no touch” capturing technique.  They threw a large shirt over the bird; put it into a box they borrowed from a winery, and took it the sanctuary.