Animal rescuers in Winter Haven, Florida, want to warn the public about the harmful effects of rat poison, after an owl nearly died from eating a mouse poisoned by the chemical.
This owl is named “Miracle”—and that’s exactly what he is. Last week he was discovered lying on the ground of this Winter Haven property, barely moving, so the homeowner called animal control, who later called rescuers to help save the owl.
After evaluating Miracle they determined he ate a mouse who had ingested rat poison.
A animal rescuer, Cathy Terry, says: “the poison concentrates as it goes up. It’s not just when the rat dies, the poison goes away. The poison stays in the system. And it has killed so many birds.”
While in the care of rescuers, Miracle suffered as many as 15 seizures in one hour, so they determined euthanizing him was the most humane option. Moments before going through with it, the vet gave it one last shot, administering a combination of drugs, including pain medicine. And miraculously, miracle’s condition improved overnight.
Terry says: “we couldn’t believe it. Our jaws just hit the floor. It stopped convulsing, it stopped seizing, its eyes were open. I think it’s going to make it.”
After a week of rehab, Terry, along with rescuer Kim Kalishek released Miracle back into the wild, near where he was originally found, placing him in a tree near his parents. Terry hoping miracle’s story shows people how harmful of an impact rat poison can have on our wildlife.
Terry recommends farmer owners to put up owl boxes, she points out owls and hawks are “natural rat killers”, and suggests that instead of using the poison, farm owners can use humane traps or snap traps instead. “But please don’t kill our wildlife.”
By Jordan Bowen