BRISTOL, RI- A screech owl will be rehabilitated after suffering an eye injury.
The bird's been nesting in Bristol's Colt State Park and hadn't been seen in its normal spot which had wildlife officials concerned. The owl returned today and is being evaluated to make sure it's safe to be back in the wild.
After a week, heavy–duty gloves and a tight grip managed to finally secure the owl.
"People saw a couple of kids hit him with a stick in one eye. Those same people who reported that said that they could see fluid coming from one of his eyes," said Kristin Fletcher, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitator's Association of Rhode Island.
Screech owls tend to nest in one spot. This bird chose an easy access hole, only 6–feet from the ground.
"You shouldn't ever really be able to approach a wild bird. They would take off pretty quickly. He's not doing it as quickly as he should and that's what's suggestive of possible injury," said Fletcher.
For safety reasons, Kristin Fletcher has been warning park go–ers to stay away from the bird.
Local fisherman, Jose Dematos frequently visits the park and say's he'll throw a quahog out every now and then for birds to eat, however he knows not to touch them.
"They could be any kind of sickness, or something, I don't know. You got to be careful," said Dematos.
It's also illegal to harass these state and federally protected birds.
The owl will be rehabilitated at the Born to be Wild Nature Center.