BUTTE — At Homestake Lake near Butte an owl was found tangled in fishing line and stuck in a willow bush. Fortunately, there were two ladies there who admit they have no experience with wild birds but were not going to leave until they rescued the poor fella.
“I’m not leaving this owl! And I was very adamant in saying, ‘We’re not leaving.’ It doesn’t matter if we’re freezing, we’re hungry, it doesn’t matter, we’re going to get this owl out of the tree,” said Kristina Keller of Butte.
Khristina and her mother, Terry Streit, were at the lake in October when they saw the owl in the willow bush. Kristina took out her camera to get a picture.
“Zooming in, I noticed there was some sort of a string or line hanging down from him and it was wrapped around and his wing was kind of tweaked back,” said Keller.
They were able to get a saw and a knife from some other visitors at the lake and the mother-and-daughter team took action.
“So she was in this bush here just cutting branches while I’m standing in the cold water just trying to get this bird to come down to me. He flipped over and looked right into my eyes with this big, golden, fall leaf-colored eye and he was like ‘I don’t know you,’ and he starts clawing at me with his talons. I’m like give me a break,” said Keller.
They got the bird out of the bush and Streit used the knife to cut the line.
“And I was just real gently sliding the knife up between the feathers and then just pulling and more string and more string and more string was coming up,” said Streit.
The bird seemed calm as she cut the string.
“It was cute the way he chirped, like he knew. He was really afraid when he was in the tree, but once they got him out of the tree he became calmer he just kind of chirped,” Streit said.
They were delighted when the bird flew away on its own.
Though wildlife officials recommend people leave distressed animals alone, the pair could not stand there and do nothing.
“When you experience pain, suffering in your life you kind of can relate and you don’t want to see anything else in pain or suffering so you absolutely have to just try to help, do your best and do the right thing,” said Keller.