When you’re working with big pieces of machinery, there’s any number of things that can go wrong. The first indication is often an unusual sound of some kind.
Alakef Coffee Roasters employee Ezra Bennett was recently performing regular maintenance at the company in Duluth, Minnesota, when he noticed a strange sound coming from one of the machines. He opened the service door to the machine, and to his surprise, saw two big eyes looking back at him.
“I caught sight of something white,” Bennett told the Twin Cities, I saw eyes and then I saw feathers and then I think it tried to fly out.”
A Snowy Owl had managed to find its way into the cooling system of one of the machines. Bennett quickly shut the door and called a rescue team.
Bennett didn’t want to try and get the owl out himself, because if it got away, he knew they’d never be able to capture it in their massive warehouse.
He was fortunate to be able to get the folks at Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation on the phone before they closed up shop. Had Bennett made the discovery any later, he doesn’t know how he would have handled the situation.
Once a professional from Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation was on the scene, they were able to get the owl, whom they named Mokka, out of the cooling system.
Bennett believes Mokka got into the warehouse through one of the smokestacks on top of the building. Once the owl was inside, it was trapped because of the narrowing diameter of the pipe. He made a point of assuring everyone that the cooling system is a closed system, and Mokka was never in danger of getting near the roaster or the beans.
When Mokka emerged from the depths of the machine, the owl smelled like a cup of espresso.
“I know, I know you’re tough,” the rescuer said as he looked the owl over.
Mokka was in good health after being pulled from the cooling system, and was expected to be released into the wild after spending a few days at the rehabilitation facility.
Nobody was able to say how long Mokka was trapped inside the cooling system, but the rescuer said the owl did appear to be slightly dehydrated.
Mokka, a Snowy Owl, would be an unusual sighting even if it were found in the wild. Snowy owls tend to stay in the Arctic. They’ve been know to fly as far south as Minnesota or Wisconsin in the past, but it is out of the norm. After Mokka’s stressful visit this time around, it might be a while until the Snowy Owl visits again.
“She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I was in the right place at the right time,” Bennett said.