PADUCAH, Ky. – Managing nuisance wildlife on the Department of Energy's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site is part of Kyle Gore’s job, but he never expected to be part of an animal rescue.
A recent call to Swift & Staley, DOE's Paducah infrastructure support services contractor, alerted staff that an injured owl had been found along Dyke Road. Gore, Swift & Staley’s operations and maintenance manager, responded to the call and found a barred owl, also known as a “hoot” owl, laying face-down in a ditch.
“He was still moving,” Gore said. “I walked up to it and he turned his head to look at me. I could tell his leg was broken, so after I calmed him down, I picked him up and took him back to the office.”
The owl responded well to the gentle approach. In fact, he was so comfortable he soon fell asleep in Gore’s arms.
“It was the most awesome day I’ve had since I’ve worked here,” Gore said. “It was like holding a giant Furby. He just sat in my lap and I petted him and talked to him and kept him calm.”
Gore contacted West Kentucky Wildlife and soon found a rehabilitation center for the bird of prey. Today, the owl is housed at the Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary in Meade County. He is expected to make a full recovery.
“It’s not every day that we have experiences like this one. Kyle handled the situation like a pro and gave this beautiful bird a second chance at life,” Swift & Staley Vice President and Project Manager Tammy Courtney said.
“Kyle’s concern for the owl is reflective in how he handles all of his projects,” said Jennifer Woodard, Paducah Site lead for DOE's Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office.