Picture this: a fluffy little brown and white bird sits on the side of the 101 freeway, while a dapper police officer looks over her.
That’s the image that turned a barn owl into a viral sensation back in November.
“We probably get in hundreds of barn owls a year, and many of them are hit by cars, but this barn owl has achieved quite a bit of fame,” says Jaclyn Desantis, Education Coordinator with the Ojai Raptor Center, which helps rehabilitate injured birds.
Desantis says the owl had been hit by a car, but after treatment in a full body wrap, the bird of prey is ready to start flying again, just in time for mating season.
“We’re going to find a nice safe habitat in Santa Barbara to release her at so she can find her way home," Desantis says, "and hopefully procreate and make more barn owls this spring.”
The owl will be released into the wild on Thursday.