Rancho Coastal Humane Society releases owl into wild after injury

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SAN DIEGO — The Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s San Diego Wildlife Center announced Monday the release of a Great Horned Owl back into the wild.

The organization recovered the owl after it lost a territorial battle over Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. SDWC staff believe the owl was injured in a fight with a female Red Tailed Hawk.

“As if raising your young isn’t hard enough, many species have to fight for nest space,” said SDWC Director Trish Jackman. “This owl lost the fight and had talon punctures on her belly. After a little rest, she was ready to get back out there in time to start a new nest.”

The SDWC released the owl Saturday night near the entrance of Camp Pendleton on State Route 76. Animal care staff originally planned the release for the previous week, but postponed due to dreary weather.

SDWC animal care staff released the owl around 5:30 p.m., the ideal time to release a previously injured owl, according to Jackman.

“That way she can find her way before the crows spot her,” Jackman said. “We’ve been feeding her up so she won’t have to hunt at that time.”

Residents can bring injured animals to the San Diego Wildlife Center at 2380 Camino Vida Roble in Carlsbad. The organization also plans to collect donations of animal care supplies March 9 in preparation for the organization’s breeding season.

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