News From Terre Haute, Indiana


June 4, 2014

Who hit me?

Owl flies into open window on moving delivery van, startling driver

TERRE HAUTE — Joshua Grubb was driving west on Poplar Street near Deming Park on Wednesday preparing to make a linen delivery when an unexpected guest flew in the open passenger window.

A barred owl had swooped down out of some trees and the next thing it knew, it found itself injured and on the floor of the Morgan Linen Services van.

“He flew in, hit the floor and then waddled his way toward the back to lie down,” Grubb said. “It startled me a little bit.”

The owl appeared to have injured a wing on impact, said Grubb, a service rep for a linen rental service out of Indianapolis.

As soon as possible, Grubb stopped his vehicle — at Bogart Drive and Poplar Street — and contacted police, who in turn, called a conservation officer. “I knew it was an animal [that] I wasn’t going to mess with,” Grubb said.

Ironically, later Wednesday evening, Grubb’s daughter was going to be in a dance recital based on Winnie the Pooh’s “100-Acre Wood.”

“I guarantee you this is a first for the company,” Grubb said.

Soon, Jason Sullivan, Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, arrived on scene and checked out the injured owl, which tried to make a quick getaway — unsuccessfully.

Sullivan put on gloves to protect himself from the owl’s talons and beak and placed the injured bird of prey in a box. He planned to take it to Petcare Animal Hospital, 2701 S. Seventh St., where a wildlife rehabilitator would retrieve the owl, evaluate it and  hopefully bring it back to health.

Responding to calls related to injured wildlife “is pretty common for me,” said Sullivan, a conservation officer for 19 years. He cautioned that citizens should never take wildlife home.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or


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