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City owl gets help
A wayward and apparently ailing horned owl has been rescued from city perils in downtown Oslo.
The Agency of Outdoor recreation and Nature management took the owl into care on Wednesday, after days of sightings of the endangered bird in the capital.
"It is a very unusual sight, spotting a horned owl in a city," said Agency nature manager Kjell Isaksen.
Isaksen saw the owl for the first time on Tuesday morning when he saw it being chased by a peregrine falcon over the rooftops of Oslo.
"That was quite a sight," Isaksen said.
The owl first drew attention when it was seen in downtown Grønlandsleiret on Friday, when it landed and stayed in the middle of a street.
"People could go right up to the bird, and that is very unusual since the horned owl is normally shy. This indicated that it was not at all well," Isaksen said.
Later the owl could be seen in downtown Tøyen Park, where it was being pestered by smaller birds.
"The horned owl was sitting in the open, being bullied by crows and magpies without reacting. That is why we wondered if it was sick," Isaksen explained.
On Wednesday the Agency, with much assistance from the fire department, managed to get the owl down from window sill in a narrow downtown apartment courtyard. The bird made no attempt to escape and allowed people to climb up next to it and toss a net over it.
"That's no way for a healthy horned owl to behave," Isaksen said.
The owl will now be fed and receive veterinary care before being released in its natural habitat, not the capital's cold concrete streets.