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Great gray owl rescued from pit toilet on Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest

Forest officials say the owl likely followed an air ventilation pipe into the toilet and became stuck.
Posted at 11:44 AM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 14:35:51-05

The Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest says a wildlife biologist and game wardens helped rescue a great gray owl that had become stuck in a pit toilet in the Pintler Ranger District.

According to a post on Facebook, forest officials were notified in December about the stuck owl. The post says she likely followed an air ventilation pipe into the toilet and became stuck.

Grates are normally installed over pipes to prevent wildlife from entering the toilets but weather, wear or time may cause the grates to be damaged or lost.

Pintler Wildlife Biologist Lara Chodelski kept an eye on the bird until wardens could arrive with a ladder. Chodelski then climbed down and wrapped a towel around the bird and passed it up to the wardens.

The owl was taken to the Wild Skies Raptor Center in Missoula to be checked out. According to the post, the owl was a bit grumpy but otherwise fine.

In a follow-up post on Jan. 4, Beaverhead-Deer Lodge announced the director and assistant director of the Raptor Center escorted "Miss Slightly Grumpy" back to the forest and released her back into the wild.

"It was very special to be able to watch her come back to the Forest good as new after her adventure," Chodelski said in the post. "It’s always very special when we get to directly interact with the wildlife we help plan for, even more special when we get to save one from the wacky situations wildlife finds themselves in sometimes.”

The owl was banded prior to her release so she could be identified in the future.