Owl Stuck in Halloween Spiderweb Set Free

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally posted on October 25, 2012. Enjoy!

Special Feature by Wild Care

For this Western Screech Owl, the Halloween decorations on a Novato home weren’t just scary, they were life-threatening. ”He was hanging upside down right outside the front door,” the homeowner said. “When we opened the door he just hung there and blinked at us!”

The Marin Humane Society was called in and the officer gently snipped away the fibers that tied the little owl to the porch, and brought him, panting with stress and still ensnared in web, to WildCare in San Rafael, California.

The owl is thoroughly examined for injuries.

The owl is thoroughly examined for injuries.

Screech Owls are small woodland owls that are common in our suburban neighborhoods. Despite their small stature, these owls have big personalities, and our Halloween owl was no exception. Despite his obvious stress and fear, he clacked his beak and tried to bite through the heavy gloves his handlers wore to protect themselves as he was gently sedated to allow removal of all the fake spiderweb fibers.

After removing all the strands, he was checked completely for any remaining fibers, x-rayed to make sure he hadn’t broken anything during his ordeal, and left to rest over night.

The following day we released him at the house where he was caught (now spiderweb-free) and gave the neighborhood children an amazing glimpse of a wild owl, and some food for thought when it comes to Halloween.  See the video below of the owl flying free.

WildCare Cautions Halloween Lovers to Follow These 5 Tips:

  • Don’t use fake spiderweb or other decorations made of entangling fibers. Wild animals can easily get trapped and not be able to break the material to free themselves.
  • Avoid decorations with loops or closed circles. A foraging animal can inadvertently put his head through a loop or circle and choke himself.
  • Avoid decorations with small, dangling, edible-looking parts.
  • Make sure all candy wrappers are disposed of properly.
  • Don’t leave candy out where wildlife may find it.

If you have an animal rescue story you’d like to share, please visit The Great Animal Rescue Chase today.

Related Stories:

Cheetah Raised by Humans Who Loved Her Enough to Set Her Free

11 Baby Opossums Saved From Walls  of House

Opossum in My Overcoat: How I  Saved Her That Night


Jane R.
Jane R2 years ago

Why decorate at all? Kids know it's just a bunch of funny, not scary decorations and they serve no purpose except to the person who does the decorating. Do away with it. Kids just want some candy they don't care how much trouble you go to, to make your yard look scary. Trick or treating should be done away with completely. There are perverts out there who will poison candy.

Sandra Bell
Sandra Bell2 years ago

Outdoor decorating -- Not worth the risk. Animals are curious.

Muff-Anne York-Haley

I'm glad he's alright!

Berenice Guedes de Sá
Berenice Guedes2 years ago

Thanks a lot for these tips!!

Berenice Guedes de Sá
Berenice Guedes2 years ago

Thanks a lot for these tips!!

Leo Custer
Leo C2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Renata B.
Renata B2 years ago

On one hand one wonders where careless and disregard (for anyone else but humans) ends and stupidity starts. On the other hand there are these companies that would do anything for making a profit. Greed - after all - is the worst fault of humans, even more than cruelty (which anyway normally goes with greed).

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Katie K.
Katie K2 years ago

This stuff should not be on the market period

Amy Fisher
Amy Fisher2 years ago

I'm glad he was okay. :-)