Sick owl rescued from under Foster City bridge

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A sick and stranded barn owl has been rescued and is now in the care of wildlife officials, after it was found stuck under a bridge in Foster City.

The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) said that over the weekend, a resident noticed the owl under a bridge along Foster City Blvd. He said it had been there for at least two days and that it appeared the bird could not fly, according to spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox.

The resident, Ross Sakata, contacted the PHS/SPCA, as well as Foster City police. On Monday, both agencies responded and quickly realized it would be difficult to reach the bird.

"The owl was in the water and only accessible by boat," said Tarbox. "Thanks to a quick thinking Foster City Police Officer, she contacted someone who was willing to donate his time and boat to venture into the water to save the bird."

Once they got to the animal, officers carefully used a net to contain it. The owl was then transported to PHS/SPCA Wildlife Care Center in Burlingame, where experts determined it was dehydrated, exhausted and hypothermic.  

Wildlife care officials treated the bird with fluids and placed him in an incubator to boost his body temperature, which helped improve his condition, according to Tarbox.

She said the PHS/SPCA will continue to monitor and treat the bird, and she credited the teamwork and partnership that resulted in rescuing the animal. 

"We are grateful for everyone involved with the effort in saving this owl," Tarbox said, as she also noted that among those to respond was someone with a very special place in her heart for owls. 

"The Foster City police officer who assisted with the rescue informed us she loves owls so much she even has a tattoo of an owl," Tarbox said, adding, "What a lovely moment of serendipity!"