And coyotes, rabbits and many other creatures in need of treatment

The Ohio Wildlife Center's Wildlife Hospital on Columbus' northwest side has had its fair share of furry, feathered and scaly patients, but one bird stands out among the flock. Last November, a driver came across an injured snowy owl—a rarity in Ohio more commonly found in Alaska and Canada.

The bird ended up in the Wildlife Hospital, which provides veterinary and rehab services to injured, orphaned or displaced creatures, from coyotes to common garter snakes. According to Casey Philips, the hospital director, it appears the young female owl was migrating when it was hit by a car.

The owl was released on March 2 after four months of care, its rehabilitation the center's first for that breed in at least 15 years. Orphaned squirrels are more common patients, as are cottontail rabbits, which constituted about 20 percent of the animals treated in 2017. Philips says that while the center is happy to provide care for so many animals, “We'd obviously like the numbers to be lower, in that we want people to understand the impact they have on wildlife.”

By the Numbers

4,525 - Animals assessed and treated by the hospital in 2016

1,684 - Animals released from the center back into the wild in 2016

152 - Species of bird accepted into the hospital in 2017

34 - Years of service provided by the center

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