This owlet, named Hope through social media, was rescued near Martin St. and Main St. in Penticton. He is approximately four weeks and will be in the care of SORCO for another 30 days. (SORCO Facebook)

SORCO rescues ‘Hope’ the owl, their first of 2020

The organization is experiencing a large decrease in the number of injured birds being reported

SORCO has rescued their first baby owl of the year. The owlet, named Hope, was rescued near Martin St. and Main St. in Penticton after it was found trapped between two houses.

SORCO is a non-profit organization located outside Oliver that that saves dozens of injured raptors, also known as birds of prey, every year.

READ MORE: Summerland skeletons carry COVID-19 messages

Hope was given his name after people gave their input over social media.

The owlet is about four weeks old and is expected to start flying in the coming weeks. He’ll stay in the care of SORCO until he can fly and hunt for himself, which should take about a month.

Normally, around this time of the year SORCO has up to 30 birds that they are nursing back to health says SORCO volunteer, Dale Belvedere. However, so far this year, Hope is the only owl they’ve rescued so far.

Belvedere says this may be because there is significantly less vehicle traffic due to the the COVID-19 pandemic. The most common way for raptors to be injured is by vehicles, followed by colliding with windows. However, she also thinks the decrease in calls may be because there are just less people out and about to spot injured birds of prey.

“We haven’t received any calls about any injured raptors anywhere. However, the government said they have also noticed a large decrease in the number of calls they’re getting for injured wildlife,” said Belvedere.

“That’s great if that’s the reality and they’re not injured but the other hand is that it would be sad if they are injured an nobody is reporting it.”

Belvedere would like to emphasize the fact that SORCO is still open despite the coronavirus crisis and, in fact, the government has declared them an essential service. She urges anyone who spots an injured raptor to contact SORCO immediately.

SORCO relies on grants and public donations, but the COVID-19 crisis forced them to cancel their annual open house fundraiser, where they normally raise a significant portion of their yearly funds.

For more information or to donate to SORCO visit their website.

READ MORE: COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

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