Waunakee Senior Saves Owl’s Life

Aly Kinzel

It was early November when Waunakee Senior Zach Stoffels faced the dangerous situation of saving a distressed owl’s life. Despite the risks that may have come with it, Stoffels decided to step up and offer help to the animal. 

He described the owl as having an impressive wingspan of five feet and struggling in a very scared state. “I got up on it and it had the big yellow eyes and its pupils were super-dilated and it was like stressed out and it was shaking and jumping around,”

Stoffels noticed that the bird’s talon was stuck in its beak. As an attempt to get the talon freed from the mouth, he took one of his arrows and used the shaft to poke at the owl. Stoffels approached the conflict confidently and denied the danger within the situation: “It wasn’t very dangerous, I mean it was in an open field.” He also noted that he wasn’t afraid that the bird would attack or hurt him. His motive was very clear when he says, “I didn’t want it to sit there and suffer so I was just trying to do everything I could.”

Zach spent about 10 minutes trying to help the owl escape the trap of its own talons. A lot of the experience was caught on camera in a video he took on his phone. The senior was able to finally free the struggling bird by grabbing the owl with one hand and pinning him on the ground. “He scratched my arm, but he didn’t seem intimidated,” he notes.

“Once he was free he just sat there and looked at me for a couple of seconds then he flew off,” Stoffels says. “Minimal damage done to his beak; I don’t know how we did that. That was actually terrifying,” he added. “A pretty incredible experience that I was really happy to be a part of.”

Stoffels stands strong to the fact that he would do the exact same thing even if it were a more dangerous animal in a more dangerous situation. “I just want to do the right thing,” he says.

**The video of Zach Stoffels saving the owl can be found on nbc15.com at this link.