"Don't risk getting hurt aiding injured wildlife" was the gentle warning posted on Twitter on Tuesday by Arizona's Game and Fish Department, a warning prompted by an incident this week between a kindhearted motorist and a stubborn owl. The Arizona Republic expands on the story, which involved a woman who was driving north of Tucson just before midnight on Monday when she spied a great horned owl on the road that appeared to be injured. The Good Samaritan picked up the "essentially motionless" owl, per Game and Fish rep Mark Hart, and placed it in her car so she could bring it somewhere for help. As she was driving, however, the "dazed" owl suddenly became much more clearheaded.
The owl then proceeded to dig its talons into the steering wheel and the woman's sleeve and not let go, as Hart tells it. Trapped in the car with her determined passenger, the woman called her mother, who called Game and Fish, which advised the motorist to throw some water on the bird. She did, but the tenacious owl simply slurped up the water and continued latching on. The owl finally loosened its grip of its own accord and bounded out of the car, seeming perfectly fine—and was spotted the next day in the same area by the woman's mom, Hart says. Although Game and Fish concedes it's "human nature" to want to help wildlife in distress, it advises "would-be Good Samaritans" not to do so. "She's fortunate she wasn't hurt," Hart says of the woman. (A mechanic found an owl during an oil change.)