KENNEBUNK — An owl that was injured after being struck by a car in Kennebunk in October has been rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

Shelley Spanswick, medical clinic director for the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, said the owl was returned Tuesday to the place it was hit on Old Falls Road on Oct. 29.

An owl, visible among the branches at center, was returned to the wild in Kennebunk. Photo courtesy of Kennebunk Police Department

Spanswick said when the owl was found it was alert but had damage to one of its eyes. But the owl now is in good health after rehabilitation at the center.

“They have an amazing ability to heal,” Spanswick said.

The Center for Wildlife is currently caring for five barred owls and one Eastern screech owl that have been struck by cars. Owls struck by cars can, in addition to eye trauma, suffer head trauma or broken wings.

“Imagine weighing around 6 ounces and being struck by a 4,000-pound vehicle,” Center for Wildlife officials said in a Facebook post.

Some years the center cares for 10 to 20 owls, but it has cared for as many as 60 in one year, Spanswick said.

The Center of Wildlife advises people to keep food and trash out of roadways, not drive distracted and not use rodenticide.

If food is scarce, owls, particularly juveniles, may increasingly go toward roadways in search of food.

“A mouse on the road eating a french fry, or sluggish from ingesting rodenticide, seems like easy prey (for young owls still getting the hang of flying), but is actually a death sentence,” Center for Wildlife officials said.

Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or at:

[email protected]

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