Use of acupunture appeared to work on injured owl

Another case of animal acupuncture that shows no proof that it actually worked.
Animal rescue center tries ‘OWLcupuncture’ to heal wounded bird – KATV.

A Central Arkansas rescue organization is using an unconventional treatment to get an injured owl back on her feet.

“We take these animals that have human-caused injuries, and when there is a human-caused injury we feel the obligation to do something,” explained Lynne Slater, the executive director of the HAWK Center.

In January, a female barred owl was brought to the center after being hit by a car.

“When she came in, I honestly thought she was dead in the box. She was comatose. She was knocked out cold,” Slater said. “I noted that she could not move one leg, and yet she could move her wings and she could use the other leg.”

owl acupuncture
There was “little” progress in a week when a vet recommended acupuncture. It appeared to work. However, the article makes it clear there was no proof it was the acupuncture that worked to help her become more mobile. An alternative explanation is that the trauma resulted in the low mobility for a week and the owl would have recovered on her own. There is little doubt that if she was not rescued and did not receive care from the rescuers (acupuncture or not), she likely would have died, so kudos to them for saving her.

In the video, you can see the owl lying very still with no anesthesia. This is suggested that she knows this is helping her. It could be a natural response of playing dead or staying very still while in this vulnerable position. But, she seems very amenable to human help.

Tip: Brandon Blahnik

  5 comments for “Use of acupunture appeared to work on injured owl

  1. March 15, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    What is it with quacks and owls? Iridology supposedly originated when its inventor noticed similarities in the eyes of an owl and a man who had a similar ailment.

  2. busterggi
    March 15, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    Surprising, at least to me, its quite common for owls to be hit by cars according to the folks at Blue moon Raptors ( ). Appartently they do fairly well aclimatizing with humans too as they have several that can’t be returned to the wild due to severe injuries but are taken to presentations they do.

  3. Lagaya1
    March 15, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    Scavenging birds are often hit by cars because they go after roadkill.

  4. Brandon
    March 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    According to Joe Nickell, Mothman may have been a Barred Owl so there is a cryptozoology connection as well. They may have been doing acupuncture on Mothman.

  5. Kathy Moyd
    March 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Most owls do their hunting at night, which makes it more difficult for drivers to see them. Also owls and many other animals don’t react to lights. I am a birder and have seen many owls just sitting still while we look at them with a spotlight. Night drives use spotlights to see reflections in an animal’s eyes and then keep the light on it so people can see.

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