Owl Trapped in Plastic on Busy Highway Rescued by Police Officer

A police officer in Idaho recently saved a great horned owl found tangled in plastic on a busy highway.

In a Facebook post, Idaho State Police said that Sgt. Brandalyn Crapo responded to several calls from concerned motorists who spotted an owl sitting in the median on I-84. Despite the traffic, Crapo managed to find the owl, which was "obviously in some distress."

Police said the owl's talons managed to get tangled in the plastic, but they did not clarify if the plastic was stuck to the roadway or if the plastic was heavy and therefore prevented the bird from flying.

Newsweek reached out to Idaho State Police for further information but did not hear back in time for publication.

To protect it from oncoming traffic, Crapo parked her patrol car near the owl and waited for the arrival of a volunteer with Animals in Distress — a non-profit organization in Idaho dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured or abandoned wildlife.

The volunteer successfully freed the owl from the plastic and released the raptor elsewhere where it could "fly another day."

Pictures attached to the post show the owl sitting on the highway with Crapo's patrol car in the background. Another shows Crapo smiling beside the bird post-rescue.

Great horned owls can be found in forests throughout Northern, Southern and Central America, according to Zoo Idaho. The species is widespread throughout Idaho and is "well adapted to live just about anywhere," said the Idaho government in an official owl information leaflet. Though they tend to live in forests, they've also been known to take refuge in swamps, canyons and even city parks.

The state is also home to several other owl species including barn owls, which are known to hunt along I-84 at night. Idaho's government said that, sadly, thousands of barn owls die each year as a result of vehicle collisions.

If an Idahoan should find an owl or any other wildlife at the side of the road, they can call Idaho State Police, who said they are happy to help "all who need assistance to get home safely."

"Not all who need help on our roadways drive cars," they added.

Facebook commenters were pleased to know that the owl had safely returned to the wild.

"Awesome job to the ISP officer, and the animal distress person, glad they were able to rescue the owl," said one.

"That makes my heart happy that the owl was saved. Great job Trooper (Sgt) Crapo," added another.

great horned owl
A police officer in Idaho recently saved a great horned owl found trapped in plastic on a busy highway. JillLang/iStock