Baby owls nearly munched in harvester
THREE baby grass owls had a lucky escape after they were rescued from a harvesting machine during a sugar cane burn early last week.
The three owls, only three or four weeks old, were brought to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital after being sucked into the machine.
Senior vet Dr Michael Pyne said staff could hardly believe what had happened to the lucky three, who arrived mostly uninjured.
"I've never seen something like this happen, we have baby birds brought in all the time but I've never had birds be picked up by a harvester," he said.
"I couldn't believe the story but we've checked it and rechecked it to make sure it's genuine and that it actually did happen."
The birds will stay at the hospital's rehab for at least another month, until they are old enough to be released into the wild together.
In the meantime, staff are going to extremes to keep them from getting attached to humans.
"Any time anyone is going near them for any reason, we actually cover ourselves up in sheets so we don't look like a person," Dr Pyne said.
"And we make very sure we don't talk or do anything that relates to people, so the food arrives from this mysterious sheet and they get fed like that."