Officials swoop in to rescue injured owl at Routt County Fair
Steamboat SpringsSteamboat Springs — A great horned owl drew some attention Tuesday after it had to be rescued during the Routt County Fair. — A great horned owl drew some attention Tuesday after it had to be rescued during the Routt County Fair.
Steamboat Springs — A great horned owl drew some attention Tuesday after it had to be rescued during the Routt County Fair.
James Vandertook, a maintenance worker at the fairgrounds, said the owl has been spending its summer days perched in the grandstand overlooking the arena and track.
“He’s watched me all summer,” Vandertook said.
Vandertook grew fond of his new raptor friend and named it Routty after Routt County.
“He’s kind of a local celebrity for only being here six months,” Hayden Police Chief Greg Tuliszewski said of the owl.
During Tuesday’s horse gymkhana, Tuliszewski said something spooked Routty, and the owl flew into the grandstands and hurt its wing.
Hayden animal control officer Meredith Murray saw the injured owl, and Tuliszewski went to get a blanket and net to try and catch Routty.
They were successful and put Routty in a kennel in a dark, air-conditioned room to calm down.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer Andrea Sponseller picked up the bird and brought it to Born Free Wildlife Rehabilitation outside of Steamboat Springs. The nonprofit is operated by Tracy Bye and is federally licensed to care for injured or abandoned wildlife.
It was confirmed that Routty had broken its wing and was going to be evaluated by a specialist on the Front Range.
“I hope it works out alright,” Sponseller said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStenslandTo reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland
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