An injured common Indian barn owl, a protected bird species, was rescued from the premises of a private school in Chromepet on Saturday.
The bird was noticed by students of the school in Bharathipuram, shortly before noon. Noticing a large group of students around the bird at the corner of the school, teachers informed the fire control room in Tambaram.
Firemen reached the spot and brought the owl back to the fire station and informed the forest department. The bird is expected to be housed at Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur.
The firemen said the bird was unable to fly, but they were not sure of the exact nature of its injuries. It measured about a foot in height and its wingspan is three feet wide.
Barn owls are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The vast wide open spaces in the city’s suburbs, with their dense vegetation, are home to these owls. The Nanmangalam reserve forest, especially, is home to the Indian Horned Owl. Several such birds, while straying into residential localities, are chased by crows and also sustain injuries in accidents. There have been several instances in the past of such barn owls (Tyto alba) being rescued by firemen.