Oil-covered snowy owl rescued from recycling plant in Wisconsin

Animal rescuers in Wisconsin said a snowy owl is recovering after being found covered in diesel and an oil-based substance at a recycling plant.

The Wisconsin Humane Society said its Wildlife Rehabilitation Center was contacted about a large bird at the recycling center in Milwaukee on Friday, and a photo sent to staff identified the avian as a snowy owl.

A rescue volunteer captured the owl and brought it to the center, where staff determined it was covered in diesel and an oil-based substance.

“The contaminants had rendered her hypothermic, she had been ingesting the oily mix in a desperate attempt to clean herself, and she was in respiratory distress,” the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center said in a Facebook post.

The owl was given a deep cleaning by rescuers.

“Snowy owls have a tremendous amount of insulative feathers, and hers required meticulous cleaning — even all the way down her legs, feet, and toes,” the post said.

The center said the bird is now being treated for “additional injuries and abrasions.”

The post said the owl is now recovering and “beginning to show appropriate wild animal sass and attitude toward us.”