The call came in Monday afternoon. A grounded great horned owl needed a hero.
Dickson County Sheriff’s Office officials knew who would respond.
“These are some of the calls I like going on,” said Sgt. Chris Lashlee. “I try to save animals.”
The owl was hung up on a barbed wire fence. Gina Nash had spotted the bird dangling, likely for many hours, on her property just outside the City of Dickson limits. She called the authorities. Lashlee was the first to action, arriving on the scene.
First, he cut the wire on both sides of the wing. Next, Lashlee felt the bone. If broke, the owl would likely need to be euthanized.
“It’s just the muscles, from hanging there so long,” said Lashlee after feeling the appendage.
Despite being injured, Lashlee knew from past experience – yes, he rescued another owl – that he had to be careful with the owl’s talons. His previous rescue of a barred owl had turned bloody. For Lashlee.
“I thought it was wise to drive down the road to the office holding this thing,” Lashlee said. When a car passed his patrol car, the owl’s talons locked through Lashlee’s finger to the bone. “It didn’t know any better,” Lashlee said.
Unfortunately, that owl’s wing was broken and it couldn’t be saved.
This great horned owl rescue, though, was different.
“I’ve got a thing where I’ll talk to the animals before I touch them. Once they let you pet ‘em, they will let you grab ahold of them,” Lashlee said. “Well, they will let me grab hold of them anyways.”
“It’s in a safe place right now,” Lashlee said. “This morning it was standing up and bright eyed. It just needs some rehab of the muscles.”
“We are going to get this bird back up in the air,” he added.