Two members of a roadside safety crew saved the life of an injured young owl in Hilden, N.S., on Tuesday.

Will Shelley and Chad Stephens found the owl they call “Lucas” in the ditch.

“You could tell it was in distress because it was just hopping around and flopping all over the place,” said Shelley. “We corralled it and kind of fought it a bit, put it in a coat that we had and babysat it for a couple hours.”

“Once it came to the realization that I wasn't going to hurt it, it became a little more docile and more relaxed,” said Stephens.

The crew called the Department of Natural Resources, who then brought the owl to Dr. Helene Van Doninck at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.       

She says the bird has no broken bones, but it suffered a concussion after being struck by a vehicle, most likely earlier in the day.

“They undoubtedly saved its life,” said Dr. Van Doninck. “It was injured and in shock and they get cold very fast when they're in shock, so if he was just left lying in the ditch any longer, shock just would have killed it.”

Despite the rescue, Dr. Van Doninck doesn’t recommend attempting to rescue wildlife without proper materials.

“They do have sharp talons and beaks, but they did what they had to,” she said. “Luckily they had safety equipment with them.”

Shelley likes to joke that he and Stephens are like proud parents of the recovering owl and are happy to have given help when needed.

“We're grown men, I guess, and I like to think of me and chad as like rugged type guys. And then when we see this bird, it was like this maternal instinct for men,” said Shelley.

Dr. Van Doninck is hoping the owl can be released in the next few weeks, and in the same area where it was found.

She expects there may even be a mate there wondering where their partner went.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.