AYER -- A little medicine and a lot of care helped a young animal fly again.
Animal Control Officer Julie Thomas and Ayer Police Detective Andrew Kularski released a barred owl back into the wilderness last week. The bird took flight the same place it was found injured on March 8 near Bennetts Crossing and Littleton Road.
Thomas said on Monday that Ayer Police received multiple calls on the afternoon of March 8 with reports of the injured owl. Thomas responded with Detective Kularski and found the "weak" bird that offered "little resistance" to the duo's care.
Kularski transported the owl to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University in North Grafton for treatment and rehabilitation.
Thomas said that the clinic determined the owl had suffered from head and eye trauma, making it unable to fly or hunt. Though it was also very thin at the time, the lack of flight wouldn't be permanent as the owl had no injuries to its wings or bones. The clinic put the owl on pain medication and cared for it for more than two weeks.
On Tuesday, Kularski said the owl had to be brought back to Ayer to be released due to its age. He and Thomas were present to see the young bird zoom off into a nearby tree, where is remained perched and ready to resume its place amongst local wildlife.
"We were all thrilled that this barred owl was able to make a full recovery and could be brought back to his original habitat," Thomas said.