Marshall County, Ala. – Joel Todd was driving home early Saturday morning when he spotted a wild owl on the side of Highway 277. Todd feared the owl was going to get hit by a car, so he stopped to help it.
But in a matter of minutes the nice gesture to save the wild animal turned unusual. "I just very cautiously walked up to it and was going to take my foot and just nudge it up onto the curve. When I did, I touched it at its chest. It just started climbing up my pants leg. When it got up to my knee I reached down to block it with my arm and it climbed up on my arm," Todd explained.
He called 911 and they sent out someone from the Alabama State Parks to pick up the owl. Todd's wife Monica Todd captured her husband's interaction with the owl until help came. "The park ranger said it was very unusual with the way it was acting. It looked like it was in good shape, but she ran her hand in front of its eyes and it did not follow her hand. She said she thought it may have been blind. She said the way it was tilting its head it may have some brain injury," Todd explained
Joel felt saving the owl was the right thing to do. He didn't know he would make a new buddy and get a new nickname in the process. "I told him he was the 'Owl Whisperer," Monica Todd said.
The Todds said the owl is being taken to Pelham and the State Park is going to try to nurse it back to health. The end result is to hopefully release the owl back into the wild.