Owl rescue has group urging soccer nets be taken down at night - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Owl rescue has group urging soccer nets be taken down at night

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A bird advocacy group is urging people and parks to take down soccer nets at night, saying they present a danger to owls getting stuck in them.

The group, Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation and Education (RARE), recently rescued a great horned owl that was stuck for several hours in a soccer net in Marion.

"He had some very severe bruising over the wings. The netting had wrapped around his wings and around his neck so tightly that it restricted blood for some time because of his movement he wore some little tears in his skin," RARE volunteer, Jodeane Cancilla, said.

Cancilla said the owl was also dehydrated and had to be treated for eight days before it was able to be returned to the wild. She said this happens because owls, who are active at night, don't see it coming.

"Not until they hit the nets. They're so focused on their prey that if they lose the prey they lose dinner so they have to remain very focused," she said.

Soccer nets are often made of nylon or plastic which makes it difficult for owls and the people who rescue them.  Cancilla said they tried to avoid having to cut nets but that's not always possible.

Earlier this month, construction workers in Missouri rescued another owl that was trapped in a soccer net. 

Cancilla said the simple solution is for people to take down soccer nets when they're done for the day.

"I know it's a pain. I know it's hard, but it would certainly prevent a lot of these accidents and injuries from occurring," Cancilla said.

In November, another owl was treated by the RARE group and released after being hit by a car.

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