PEI

Devoted animal lover rescues snowy owl, sends it off for rehab

A Prince Edward Island woman has rescued a snowy owl and is hoping it will recover in Nova Scotia before taking flight once again.

Candy Gallant has dedicated her P.E.I. home to animals including cats, birds and a squirrel

The snowy owl spent the night at Candy Gallant's home, and then was transported to a rehabilitation centre in Nova Scotia. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

A Prince Edward Island woman has rescued a snowy owl and is hoping it will recover in Nova Scotia before taking flight once again.

Candy Gallant — a woman with a history of helping animals in need — said she first heard about owl sightings in Summerside on Monday morning. She said the bird was being stalked by crows, and that she spent much of the day trying to rescue it. 

"He's a young migratory bird on his way north, and they just get weak, they literally don't have the energy to fly very far or fast," said Gallant. "And I think eventually he would have died, or the crows would have killed him." 

The 'bird whisperer'

Gallant's friend Doug Campbell — who she calls the 'bird whisperer' — eventually captured the owl. 

"(The bird) was travelling back and forth between Canadian Tire and P.E.I. Mutual," said Campbell. "And he landed about two feet from the corner, so I snuck up around the corner and scooped the net over him.

Doug Campbell, dubbed a 'bird whisperer,' managed to capture the snowy owl. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC )

"I was sort of surprised I actually caught him, big-time surprised."

He brought the bird to Gallant, who took it to her house that night.

Off to Nova Scotia

"He seems to be doing really well," she said. "His eyes are good. He had a drink of water last night. I did offer him food which he's not taking right now."

Food and time are what the owl needs, she said.

Candy Gallant is well known in the community for rescuing animals. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Two of Gallant's friends helped transport the bird to a Nova Scotia rehabilitation centre called Hope for Wildlife on Tuesday afternoon.

Gallant is well known in her community for rescuing animals of various sorts. She has worked with the P.E.I. Humane Society and the Cat Action Team.

Home dedicated to animals

At her home near Miscouche P.EI. she has fourteen cats, several parrots, house chickens, and a baby squirrel, most of which have been rescued. Some of them are hers and some, like the snowy owl, are transient.

"I like needy things," said Gallant. "I don't particularly like humans, but I do love anything that's feathered or furred or scaled or not human. I do like humans too, but anything that's in need I usually feel the urge to mother.

"They own my house. We share it. I pay the mortgage. They live here," she added, laughing. 

Candy Gallant's home is filled with animals, many of which have been rescued. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

She said she's sure the owl will recover in Nova Scotia before it's released to fly north.

Her friend Campbell said it's great that the bird will be able to get healthy again, and he appreciates Gallant's work.

"We need more people like her," he said.

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About the Author

Katerina Georgieva is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Windsor. She has also worked for CBC in Charlottetown, Toronto and Winnipeg.