Vancleave, Mississippi—Approximately one month ago, GiGi was on death’s door. The great horned owl was suffering from massive head trauma due to a collision with a motor vehicle. She was brought in to the Wild at Heart Rescue, a group that specialises in helping Mississippi’s sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, but staff did not think she was going to make it.
Not only was the poor bird suffering from her head injury, but she was also found to be covered in parasites and was sick with aspergillosis, a respiratory disease in birds akin to pneumonia in humans, caused by a fungus known as Aspergillus. With all hope for the bird’s survival looking grim, Wild at Heart Rescue’s own president and lead rescuer, Doug Pojeky, stepped up to the plate to see if he could help.
Known as the rescue’s own ‘bird of prey whisperer‘, Pojeky managed to nurse the poor bird back to health. Thanks to his care, she was back on her own two talons, and had gone from being hand-fed to snatching food by herself.
After a brief trip to Michigan to visit family, Pojeky returned to the facility where GiGi was waiting with open wings to greet him. Pojeky gave GiGi a quick medical exam, after which the owl climbed up on his chest, nestled her head in Doug’s neck, and wrapper her wings around him.
The photos, which were posted on Wild at Heart Rescue’s Facebook page, starting getting traction on social media, with people in absolute awe of the owl hug—including us at Love Nature. Great work to Doug and the whole Wild at Heart Rescue team (and to you too, GiGi).