The barn owl that took up residence in the box positioned near the baseball field earlier this year raised high hopes for Coast Union student athletes and coaches. For years the gopher population has been digging holes in the playing fields, creating unsafe conditions for players.
Evidence beneath the box indicated the owl’s been catching gophers. But on Sunday, June 12, when assistant Bronco baseball coach Andy Zinn and his wife, Cori, were walking near the owl box, they found a barn owl — which may well be the same owl that has taken residency in the box — whose talon was caught in a chain link fence near the baseball field.
The Zinns helped rescue the owl, and Coast Union transportation employee Rudy Medal and his family drove the injured bird to Pacific Wildlife Care (PWC) in Morro Bay. Unfortunately, because the owl’s leg was literally severed, the wildlife veterinarian on duty at PWC was not able to repair it, and the bird had to be euthanized.
The hope now is that soon another barn owl will make a home in the box and continue the campaign against the gopher population.
Special to The Cambrian