Owls capture the human imagination as solitary, lunar creatures with next to little emotion behind their cold gaze. But nothing could be further from the truth. Like a grumpy husband, owls are just choosy about who they’ll show their emotional side to. This story reveals the touching relationship of GiGi, a beautiful great horned owl that was saved by a human. The moment they meet again has made more than one sensitive person shed a tear…

19. Safe And Sound

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This photo shows GiGi right before she was reunited with her rescuer. She arrived at the Wild at Heart Rescue, Mississippi, when a man found her on the street.

18. Healers At Work

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Even though the bird wasn’t in a bad condition, the rescue center gave her the proper care and love. But if it weren’t for one man in particular, the owl would not be here today.

17. Back On Track

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Douglas “Doug” Pojeky is also known as “The Bird Whisperer”. He’s rescued many birds. People who work at the rescue say that no one can form that sort of connection with birds, especially solitary ones like GiGi. You’ll see what they mean in the next photo…

16. Best Friends Forever

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This photo was taken after Doug went away to visit his family in Michigan. Upon his return, GiGi was the happiest member of the rescue family. When an owl rests her head against yours, you know that love is in the air. And here is an even better shot.

15. The Million Dollar Hug

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Forming a connection with any animal is special, but that’s even more true with the nuts that are hard to crack, like these majestic birds. GiGi first started dancing around and then hugged her savior, bringing tears to the eyes of everyone in the room.

14. Super Comfortable

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There is a good reason why owls don’t usually trust people. Just like other large birds, they’ve often fallen prey to hunters. The evolutionary defensive mechanism is still deeply ingrained in their biology. But the relationship between Doug and GiGi shows the power of the spirit to overcome all adversity. And now, let’s see how Gigi looks like fully healed and ready to rumble…

13. Guess Who’s Back?

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After weeks of rehabilitation, GiGi is finally able to return to nature. It’s Doug that did most of the job, but so did other members of the rescue who chipped in. Here are some cool facts about great horned owls…

12. Looking For Prey

Source: tgonaturecenter.org

Great horned owls are not peaceful creatures. Their demeanor is deceptive in this regard. They’re very clever hunters, a smaller animals worst nightmare…

11. Post Workout Meal

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This is a replica, but it’s quite an accurate description of a preferred daily meal for horned owls. They eat mouse, insects, and even scary animals like the next one..

10. The Snake Muncher

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Believe it or not, large owls are a deadly enemy of snakes. They usually avoid venomous snakes, but their attack from above can be as deadly as unpredictable for snakes of all strength and size. These clashes usually happen in winter time, when snakes are hungry and less mobile. But great horned owls are not at the top of the food chain. They have one very powerful enemy..

9. Bald Eagle vs. Great Horned Owl

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Although the horned owl boasts impressive speed and deadly claws, it’s still not strong enough to match a bald eagle in his prime. These two specimens are fighting for the hunting ground, and the horned owl falls into retreat. Luckily, he has a lady to heal his wounds…

8. Their Special Corner

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During the mating season, owls bond and create nests in order to raise offspring. Due to their color, it can be hard to spot them even during the day…

7. No Way Dude!

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Owls are intelligent birds, which is why they’ve been used on banners and coins in ancient times. Athena, the goddess of wisdom of Ancient Greece was also showcased as an owl in some stories.

6. Mating Ritual

Source: allaboutbirds.org

The male owls fight for territory for two reason – hunting and females. They use a range of deep vocalizations to attract the females on their territory. It looks like this one got his technique down to a T.

5. Long Lives

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Another reason why great horned owls are considered to be bearers of wisdom is due to their longevity. In captivity, they can live as long as 38 years. In the wild, it’s usually around 13 years. Still an impressive number for a bird.

4. They’re Not The Largest Owls

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They can get up to 23 inches long, and have really long wings. Still, they’re not the largest of owls. That title goes to – large grey owls, which can grow to the length of 33 inches and weigh over 3 pounds.

3. Cleaners of Nature

Source: birdwatchersdigest.com

Great horned owls are the only animal that eats skunks on a regular basis. This makes them a great addition to any suburban area.

2. Training Them Is Not Easy

Source: bpzoo.org

Although they’re one of the smartest winged species, great horned owls can be difficult to train. It takes months to make them compliant to simple commands, simply because they’re wild creatures who enjoy their solitude and don’t live in groups.

1. Saying Goodbye

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The fact that they’re hard to train makes Doug’s accomplishment even greater. He managed to civilize a great horned owl thanks to his compassion, for which GiGi will always be thankful for.