VENTURA, Calif. (FOX 11) - UPDATE: Great horned owl dies after being found completely covered in oil
A Great horned owl discovered in Ventura County completely covered in oil is slowly recovering Monday.
The juvenile owl was located at the oil pits in Dulah, a small community just west of the city of Ventura, according to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network who says the oil pits are covered to protect wildlife from getting in. It's unknown how the owl was able to get in.
The bird was treated at the Wildlife Care Network where personnel washed him in warm water with Dawn dish soap. They say it will take several washes before the owl is completely rid of the oil. Until then, it will be resting.
The Wildlife Care Network says oil washing is one of the most stressful things an animal can endure and will die if washed for too long, and that's why it's important the owl rest for some time in between washes.
The washes involve the bird being taken from tub to tub, dumping out the oily water as its talons are constantly constrained.
The non-profit organization is largely made up of volunteers and says it has the only oil wash station between Long Beach and Morro Bay to aid in their mission of rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, including birds, reptiles and small mammals.
The owl will be taken to the International Bird Center in San Pedro on Tuesday for continued treatment and rehabilitation.
KKFX Santa Barbara, John Palminteri - KEYT contributed to this report.