Control Animal Officer Michele Shiber with the great horned owl she rescued from a soccer net last week.

The Montclair Township Animal Rescue Team came to the rescue of a great horned owl caught in a soccer net at Brookdale Park on Wednesday, March 3.

Senior Animal Control Officer Michele Shiber and Officer Julie Khan spent almost nine minutes cutting the bird free from the net. After an inspection of the bird, Shiber set him free, and he flew off unharmed.

Great horned owls are known for their long, earlike tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare, and deep hooting voice. This powerful predator can take down birds and mammals even larger than itself, but it also dines on daintier fare such as tiny scorpions, mice, and frogs, according to

They have a wingspan of 4.6 feet.

The great horned owl is one of the most common types of owls in North America, equally at home in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and almost any other semi-open habitat between the Arctic and the tropics.

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Jaimie is an award-winning journalist and editor.