Jenny Doran said she was a part of something extraordinary when she and other Hope residents helped rescue an injured osprey along Old Hope Princeton Way.
Doran said she heard there was an injured bird on the road at around 6 p.m. on Monday, June 29, and went to investigate together with two staff members from the nearby House of Hope. Initially thinking it had died, as she approached Doran saw the raptor was standing in the middle of one of the lanes and was unable to move to the sidewalk. Its wing appeared to be broken.
“He was big too, beautiful,” she said. “I guess he had a fish, he had just caught it out of the river, and went to cross the road and I believe he got hit by a car.”
The bird on the road, its fish in the ditch, Doran quickly sprang into action. She took off one of two shirts she was wearing and used it as a flag to try to move the osprey to the sidewalk. Shortly after, RCMP arrived as it turned out someone had phoned and alerted them about Doran standing on the road. The police parked their cruiser at the scene and stayed until a volunteer with the OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society arrived.
Doran said the osprey looked bewildered about the whole experience, yet remained calm. “He was standing there looking extremely concerned. If people got to close to him, he would try to move and his wing would just drag. He couldn’t walk on his one leg,” she said.
Eventually, the bird pressed itself against the sidewalk with its good wing. Around an hour and 45 minutes later, the volunteer arrived and a tote was placed on the bird.
At one point during the rescue, Doran said she retreived the fish the osprey had dropped from the ditch along the highway and slid it under the tote for it. “And he got excited,” she laughed, describing a ‘priceless’ look on the police officer’s face when she retreived the fish and then saw the tote begin to shake as the osprey moved around, reunited with its catch.
Doran said while the bird appeared to be quite injured, it was also very alert and looked right at her with big eyes during the rescue. The osprey even allowed itself to be examined by the volunteer from OWL at the scene.
The osprey is now at the rehabilitation facility in Delta, which sees around 750 birds of prey per year come in from across the province.
Raptor care manager with OWL Rob Hope stated the bird has a fractured right shoulder and lacerations on its feet – it appears it was hit by a car. “The plan is to release (it) back where it was found,” he added, however exactly how the healing process will go won’t be known for a few weeks.
“That little guy looks like he’s going to get more time because people cared. Accidents happen, but thankfully there’s nice people around to make sure he got to see a bit more life,” Doran said. She hopes people will remember to slow down ‘just a hair’, as they live in a beautiful place with a lot of wildlife.
Eagles, owls, hawks and osprey are all present in the area, Hope added, depending on the time of year, the food available and their migration.
“It was astounding,” Doran said of the experience. “I mean how often in your life do you get to be so close to something so neat without there being a cage between you and it?”
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