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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Two little Western screech owls are undergoing eye surgery on Thursday. According to Wildlife Images, a Grants Pass-based organization dedicated to rehabilitating and educating the public about animals, both are believed to have been injured in separate impacts with cars.
Both owls came to Wildlife Images from Jackson County, the organization said. One owl has a tumor on his left eye, the other is partially missing his left eye. According to the organization, those damaged eyes need to be removed, the wounds cleaned and then sutured.
Although the organization works to rehabilitate animals of all kinds, they said that they have taken the owls to Dr. Cassandra Bliss—a veterinary eye specialist with the skills and resources necessary to perform such delicate surgery.
Normally, the organization said, surgery for both owls would cost $4,800. Since Dr. Bliss has offered to donate her time for the two owls, the surgeries will only cost Wildlife Images a total of $1000—they're asking members of the public to donate so that they can cover those remaining costs, which includes materials, tools, and medicine for the patients.
According to the Audubon Society, Western screech owls can be found throughout the Western United States. They are common in both woods and semi-arid desert regions, and often nest in hollows or holes in trees or cacti. They tend to prey on small mammals and large insects, and the male and female owls both work together to bring home food for their young.