LOUISVILLE -- When Ashley Albright was taking a lunch break, she saw something strange on the shoulder of the highway in downtown Louisville where I-64 meets I-71.
After exiting the highway and turning back around, she discovered it was an injured snowy owl, a bird not native to the area. These birds do not normally migrate this far south, but changes in floods and population cycles have altered their patterns.
After pulling off the road, she approached the bird, who flew towards traffic and bounced away from a passing car. Eventually, Albright was able to catch the bird in a blanket. It was taken to Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky.
The snowy owl was starving. It was blind in one eye and some of its feathers were singed, though it is unclear how that occurred.
Although the damage to its eye cannot be repaired, the owl may still be able to be released back into the wild if it survives the next few weeks and can hunt on its own.
The bird's condition is described as "touch and go," and is receiving care from two veterinarians.
To read the full story, check out coverage by The Courier Journal here.