An owl rescued in Michigan was photographed “hugging” the man who saved it.
Photos of the great horned owl, named GiGi, were posted on Mississippi’s Wild at Heart Rescue’s Facebook page.
“This baby has a significant head trauma from a hit by car situation. But this baby is making progress and is doing well,” the page said.
The rescuer, Doug Pojeky, “never fails in his skills with these magnificent creatures.”
“There are pretty much no words to describe these two photos,” the page added. “Doug was checking on his little patient, and this is what happened. She threw both wings around him and gave him an owl hug.”
Pojeky has developed a reputation as a “bird whisperer.” Two years ago, he helped rescue a bald eagle that was taken to Wild at Heart with wing damage.
In the first photo with the owl, he was saying ” shhhhh like he normally does,” which is “very calming” to the birds.
After a few moments, the birds show “pure contentment.”
“They show their gratitude. Nothing these birds of prey do any more surprises me. I have learned to accept the fact that it’s just going to happen, and to have the camera ready at all times … these moments must be captured and frozen in time,” said the page.
The great horned owl, which is not an endangered species, is a solitary bird that lives in canyons, forests, and clearings. It can be found throughout the continental United States, Alaska, Mexico, and Central and South America, the National Wildlife Foundation says.
The owls are great at catching mice and other rodents, the NWF says.