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Ram, 'Grumpy Owl' Injured In The Maria Fire, Is Going Back To The Wild

Ram the owl wrapped up in a fire jacket, after being rescued. Photo cropped from the original. (Ventura County Fire Department)
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You may have seen pictures of Ram, a great horned owl, floating around the internet last fall. The bird was found, injured, during the Maria Fire. But good news, grumpy owl fans, Ram is heading home.

Tonight, the same firefighters that rescued the owl will be there to release it back into the wild.

For those who aren't familiar with Ram, this tale started last November as the Maria Fire was winding down. A Ventura County Fire crew was in the Somis area, when they spotted an owl in a ditch.

"As they approached it, it didn't fly away. It didn't seem scared," said Mike Des Forges, an engineer and spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department. "It wasn't acting appropriately, so they called the wildlife refuge center and they wrapped it up in their fire jackets and transported to this refuge center."

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The firefighters named the owl "Ram" after their crew mascot and the L.A. Rams football team.

The crew snapped some photos of the bird wrapped up in the jacket, and Twitter users had some fun joking around with Ram's less than grateful expression at being saved.

Camarillo Wildlife Rehabilitation took the owl to a vet specializing in birds and it was treated for a broken bone.

"[The bone the owl broke] is kind if like a clavicle would be like in a human being, and it's where the two wings attach," said Nicky Thole, director of Camarillo Wildlife Rehabilitation.

She says Ram is a pretty lucky owl, because most animals caught in a fire die or hide out of fear, leaving them to heal without veterinary care.

The story of Ram, as it turns out, has a happier ending.