Rescued owl gives big ‘hug’ to the man who helped save her life.
An injured great horned owl gave the Mississippi man who rehabilitated her a huge bird hug.
The bird, named Gigi, had a look of contentment on her face when she put her head on the shoulder of rescuer Doug Pojeky.
Gigi suffered a concussion, head trauma and a claw infection when she was hit by a car last month in Seminary, and she was referred to Wild at Heart Rescue in Vancleave by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
While Gigi underwent rehabilitation, she formed a bond with Pojeky, Wild at Heart director and founder Missy Dubuisson said. When Pojeky returned from an out-of-town trip, Gigi showed him how much she missed him.
“She was so excited to see him. She started dancing and just climbed up on him and draped her (wings) around him,” Dubuisson said. “I froze that moment in time (with the photos) because it was so pretty.”
The photos have been shared thousands of times since Dubuisson posted them to Facebook, and the story has gone viral.
Dubuisson said young birds can imprint on humans, but adult birds do not. Gigi responded to Pojeky the way she did because she was not well.
“They trust them to be able to heal. When they are healed, they are instantly wild (and) they want to go,” Dubuisson said.
Gigi recovered from her injuries shortly after the pictures were taken and was released in Seminary, Dubuisson said.
“We’ve seen something like that with Doug and an eagle several years ago,” Dubuisson said. “But I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Pojeky, who is retired from the military, works full time as the director of Wild at Heart rehabilitating animals. The rescue center is a nonprofit organization that operates through donations, Dubuisson said.