NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The stowaway owl who hitched a ride earlier this week from Upstate New York to midtown Manhattan with the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree may be released back into the wild Saturday after being returned Upstate to recuperate at a wildlife sanctuary.
"He's in great condition," Ellen Kalish, director of Ulster County's Ravensbeard Wildlife Center told the Daily Freeman. "He had an X-ray yesterday, and there are no fractures ... His muscle tone, everything is good, and so he's got the green light."
She added, "I just want to make sure he’s well-fed before he goes. He was a little on the thin side when he came in. He probably hadn’t eaten in a number of days. So I just want to make sure that he’s at his best weight and health, and then he goes." (And not surprisingly, he's been given the name of "Rockefeller.")
A man who works for the company that transported this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree from Oneonta to Manhattan got quite a surprise earlier this week: he found the small owl tucked away inside the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce.
The man's wife called Ravensbeard Wildlife Center and brought the Saw-whet owl to the wildlife sanctuary.
The facility gave an update on Rockefeller's health on its Facebook page Wednesday, writing, "We’ve given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat. It had been three days since he ate or drank anything. So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through."
The Facebook post continues, "Once he checks in with the vet and gets a clean bill of health, he’ll be released to continue on his wild and wonderful journey."
"Our hearts go out to all those 'behind the scenes' workers," the post concludes. "Great job and thanks for saving "Rockefeller"!