Firefighters and ecologists teamed up to save an owl egg from an ashtray over Easter weekend
Lake Louise parks staff safely created a new nest for the mama owl and her egg
Parks and fire officials in Lake Louise, Alta., responded to a very on-theme call this Easter weekend.
A barred owl had laid her egg in an unsafe spot — an ashtray outside of a staff accommodation in the mountain resort town.
Lake Louise Fire Department deputy chief Gordon Wagstaff said his team was requested by Parks Canada to assist with moving the owl's egg from where it had been laid to a nest wildlife specialists had safely constructed nearby.
"They needed our assistance because they didn't have adequate ladders to climb the tree and place the nest," he said.
Wagstaff said he's never been called to an incident like this before, but luckily the mother owl co-operated with the process.
"When we arrived on scene, the owl was watching us from the tree. Once we placed the ladder under Parks Canada's direction, the owl flew off to a stand of trees across the street."
Once the nest was in place, the egg was safely relocated.
"We're … thankful for Mother Owl's patience in allowing the team to complete the task with no dive-bombs or face-scratching attempts while we relocated her little one. We wish the owls nothing but happiness and health in their new home!" read a post from the fire department's Facebook page.
Barred owls are considered a sensitive species in Alberta, because the species requires old, mixed-wood forests to survive.
The province's most recent conservation plan states that as of 2010, there were estimated to be fewer than 2,000 breeding owls left in the province.