Monday, 22. December 2014
30. 06. 14. - 15:00
A Russian lorry driver has been dubbed Harry Potter by his mates after he found an injured owl at the side of the road, which has now become a permanent fixture inside his cab.
Lorry driver Yevgeny Zolotukhin, 51, said he had been travelling on the road to Chita when he saw the owl standing in the middle-of-the-road and had slammed on the brakes.
He said: "I could see that she had an injured wing, and as there aren't exactly a lot of animal charities in that part of the world. So I drove to the next town and purchased some raw chicken which she happily ate in the cab."
He said he had been on a busy schedule and so had been on the road travelling from one destination to the other before he finally returned home where he hoped to get the local Novosibirsk Zoo to adopt the bird, which he had called Sonya.
He said: "I knew that the owl felt happy with me in the cab because although her wing seemed to be better, she consistently refused to fly away, and I figured she probably had become used to the domestic life.
"That was when I decided to hand her over to the zoo but they called me after a week and said that I have to take her back, because she was refusing to eat. When I got there, she ate straight away from my hand and nobody else is allowed to feed her. Zoo keepers told me it's probably because she's got used to me and I noticed it's true, she also gets upset if I am away for any length of time."
He said: "She is great company, she sits there alongside me and is never happier than when were on the road it seems. I have a small fridge in the cab, where I keep chicken and beef fresh and she eats that every day at the same time as me."
The owl has made Yevgeny something of a celebrity among fellow truckers, who comment that Harry Potter has arrived every time he turns up at a truck stop or petrol station. Harry Potter also had an owl, Hedwig, and although Yevgeny says his pet can't do magic, he still reckons she's pretty magical and enjoys the celebrity status his unusual pet provides.
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