MARANA, Ariz. — An injured owl is recovering after being rescued Thursday morning.
The sun was barely up, but Mardi Clor and Becki Howlin's morning was already off to an interesting start.
Becki was driving her mother-in-law to work. They were on Camino de Oeste and Linda Vista when they saw something in the road.
"I thought it was a box in the road. Yeah, we [had] seen something," the women said.
They couldn't quite make out what they were seeing.
"I said, 'Is that a cat?' Then I thought, maybe a baby bobcat, because of the fur," Mardi said.
But it wasn't fur -- this animal had feathers.
"And then, it turned his face and looked at us, and it was the craziest part," Becki said. "It was the cutest part. Yeah, that was the cutest part -- is when he turned his face and looked at us," Mardi said.
They realized it was an owl.
The women immediately wanted to help because the owl seemed like it was hurt. So they pulled over, and Mardi, a former 911 operator, knew exactly what to do.
"I knew where I was -- very important," Mardi said. "And I called 911 -- told them exactly what was going on, and right away two deputies showed up."
That's when Pima County Deputy Summerfield stepped in. The owl was taken to the Tucson Wildlife Center.
As for Mardi and Becki, pulling over and helping the owl was just instinct.
"We gotta do something, got to protect [them]. Even if it would have been a snake or something. Just shoo it."