OWLS takes new charges

Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter Director Brooke Breen carries an injured night heron that was brought to the shelter Friday morning in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. (Cheryl Burke photo)

Editor's note: This article was last updated Sept. 7 at 6:23 p.m.

NEWPORT — Residents began lining up Friday morning at the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter with animals that had been injured or blown from nests during Hurricane Dorian.

OWLS Director Brooke Breen said within three hours of opening they had nearly 30 birds, baby squirrels and even a mole brought in. By Saturday morning, Ms. Breen said they had received 44 animals.

“People will continue to find animals through at least Monday as they continue to clean up their yards,” she said.

At the Carteret County Humane Society Animal Shelter near Newport, which  evacuated most of its animals to rescue groups outside of the area ahead of the storm, Shelter Manager Rachel Hardin said Saturday the shelter was open and would accept new animals.

As for OWLS, Mack Becker of Morehead City was among those bringing in an animal Friday morning. He said he found a night heron while checking on a friend’s mobile home in Atlantic Beach.

“I was walking around and almost stepped on it,” Mr. Becker said.

He scooped it up, wrapped it in a towel and brought it to OWLS at 100 Wildlife Way on Highway 24, which is exactly what Ms. Breen said residents should do.

“People will find a lot of young birds and squirrels blown from nests as they do their yard cleanup,” she said. “They should bring them to the shelter as soon as they can.”

Ms. Breen added that finding a night heron was very unusual.

“It’s a young bird and needs to warm up, but I think it will be fine once it’s fed and has rest,” she said.

Gina McBride of Newport was among those who found a young mourning dove while working in her yard.

“We were out cleaning the yard and found it on the ground,” she said. “We brought it in within 15 minutes.”

OWLS worker Tyler Harvill said doves are known for building poor nests and are a common bird variety found after a storm.

Ms. Breen said the OWLS buildings and property were spared major damage, which was not the case during Hurricane Florence in September 2018. During Florence, the wildlife shelter had approximately $100,000 worth of damage.

OWLS is nearing completion on many of its repairs and Ms. Breen said she is grateful there was only minor damage.

As for those finding injured or orphaned wildlife as cleanup continues, Ms. Breen said the best thing to do is use a towel or blanket to catch them, place them in a sturdy container in a quiet place and bring them to the shelter as soon as possible.

For more information, contact OWLS at 252-240-1200.

Those who want to make donations can go to outerbankswildlifeshelter.com. A wish list of items is on the site, as well as a way to make monetary donations.

 

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

Previous report

NEWPORT — Residents began lining up Friday morning at the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter with animals that had been injured or blown from nests during Hurricane Dorian.

OWLS Director Brooke Breen said within three hours they had nearly 30 birds, baby squirrels and even a mole brought in.

Mack Becker of Morehead City was among those bringing in an animal Friday morning. He said he found a night heron while checking on a friend’s mobile home in Atlantic Beach.

“I was walking around and almost stepped on it,” Mr. Becker said.

He scooped it up and wrapped it in a towel and brought it to OWLS at 100 Wildlife Way on Highway 24, which is exactly what Ms. Breen said residents should do.

“People will find a lot of young birds and squirrels blown from nests as they do their yard cleanup,” she said. “They should bring them to the shelter as soon as they can.”

Ms. Breen added that finding a night heron is very unusual.

“It’s a young bird and needs to warm up, but I think it will be fine once it’s fed and has rest,” she said.

Gina McBride of Newport was among those who found a young mourning dove while working in her yard.

“We were out cleaning the yard and found it on the ground,” she said. “We brought it in within 15 minutes.”

OWLS worker Tyler Harvill said doves are known for building poor nests and are a common bird variety found after a storm.

Ms. Breen said, the OWLS buildings and property were spared major damage, which was not the case during Hurricane Florence in September 2018. During Florence, the wildlife shelter had $100,000 worth of damage.

OWLS is nearing completion on many of its repairs and Ms. Breen said she was grateful there was only minor damage from Dorian.

As for those finding injured or orphaned wildlife as cleanup continues, Ms. Breen said the best thing to do is use a towel or blanket to catch them. Place them in a sturdy container in a quiet place, and bring them to the shelter as soon as possible.

For more information, contact OWLS at 252-240-1200.

Those wanting to make donations can go to outerbankswildlifeshelter.com. A wish list of items is on the site, as well as a way to make monetary donations.

 

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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