GiGi, a great horned owl, was brought to Wild at Heart Rescue –a wildlife rehabilitation center–in Vancleave, Mississippi, with a massive head trauma back in May. She was in such bad condition that she wasn’t expected to make it.
Luckily, though, Douglas Pojeky, president of the center, stepped in to care for GiGi. Apparently, he has a way with birds. “In all my years of working with birds of prey, I have never seen someone with such a bond with these magnificent birds,” Missy Dubuisson, founder of Wild at Heart Rescue, told The Dodo, a website devoted to animals. “It literally brings tears to my eyes to watch him interact with these birds. They absolutely know him and trust him.”
Well, GiGi found a way to thank Pojeky for all his hard work. After he returned to the center from vacation, GiGi “threw both wings around him and gave him an owl hug,” says Wild at Heart Rescue’s Facebook page.
It’s amazing enough that a bird of prey would hug like a human. But the moment was particularly moving for Pojeky.
According to The Dodo, “Growing up, a great horned owl used to perch on the top of Pojeky’s family barn. While Pojeky’s father often saw the owl, Pojeky and the rest of his family rarely did. However, on the morning of his father’s death, the owl was spotted overlooking the farm house, where Pojeky’s father had passed away, before flying off into the woods.”
It’s no wonder GiGi’s embrace was so meaningful. “For some reason when that bird was hugging me,” Pojeky said, “all I could think of was my dad.”
Have you ever witnessed the remarkable bond between humans and animals? Share your story below!