Jun. 06, 2016
GiGi first arrived at Mississippi's Wild at Heart Rescue toward the end of May after suffering significant head trauma, which the rescue suspects was the result of being hit by a car. She had a massive concussion, her body was riddled with parasites and she had a condition called aspergillosis, which is similar to pneumonia in humans, Missy Dubuisson, founder and director of Wild at Heart, told The Dodo.
GiGi was so ill that, during the course of her treatment, she lost an entire pound of weight — which was a lot, considering great horned owls typically weigh anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds.
"This bird was one of the most critical we have ever taken care of," Dubuisson said. "The fact that this bird has lived is beyond comprehension."
But if there was anyone at the rescue who could help GiGi get back in good health, it would be Douglas "Doug" Pojeky, president of the rescue and affectionately known as the "birds of prey whisperer."
"In all my years of working with birds of prey, I have never seen someone with such a bond with these magnificent birds," Dubuisson said.
Under Pojeky's care, GiGi went from knocking at "death's door to perching," Dubuisson said. She also went from being hand-fed to grabbing food on her own. GiGi had undoubtedly come to trust and care for Pojeky, and she made it known just how much in the most surprising way.