Wild animals need our care and attention on the roads

A badly-injured barred owl was taken to the Ohio Wildlife Center veterinary hospital this week.

Earlier this week a couple of Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies alerted staff at Scioto Grove Metro Park about an injured barred owl along the roadway at Jackson Pike. Park staff came out, got the owl, took it back to the maintenance shop and called the Ohio Wildlife Center (OWC). A volunteer from OWC came out and took the raptor to their veterinary hospital for treatment.

Unfortunately, this rescue did not have a happy ending as we had hoped for. The owl suffered extensive trauma and was humanely euthanized by a veterinarian at the OWC hospital. We at Metro Parks express our gratitude to the staff at OWC.

Winter is a precarious time for many animals especially during severe weather and sudden cold snaps, said OWC director of Wildlife Education Stormy Gibson.  Nocturnal animals such as opossums might even be seen along the roadway scavenging for food during daylight hours when temperatures dip into the teens.

Many animals will wander onto or cross a road in search of food without any thought of traffic. Wild animals are unpredictable, easily scared and often panic at the sight of a motor vehicle.

If you are warned of animals in the area, slow down, be alert and look ahead. If you see an animal on the road approach slowly and be prepared to stop. Do not rev the engine or sound the horn as this is likely to startle the animal and could cause damage to vehicles. OWC also has some great information on wildlife emergencies and what to do if you find an injured animal at https://www.ohiowildlifecenter.org/wildlife-emergency/

Ohio Wildlife Center is a leader in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation education. They treat nearly 5,000 animals in their wildlife hospital every year and reach thousands of adults and children through education programs. For more information about OWC, visit https://www.ohiowildlifecenter.org/ or you can also find answers to the most common wildlife questions by calling their monitored Wildlife Information Line at 614-793-WILD.