Wildlife photographer Anwar Alomaisi is becoming a bit of a social media folk hero.
The Peekskill native, who currently resides in Elmsford, has developed quite a following on Facebook, thanks to his stunning photos of eagles, hawks, owls, and other birds and wildlife.
Sometimes, when Alomaisi encounters an animal that doesn't look right, he tries to help.
Alomaisi came across a Snowy Owl Saturday morning in Stratford, Conn., off the side of Route 113, and after taking a few photos, he realized the bird wasn't right.
"Yesterday morning I photographed her, and she seemed fine," Alomaisi told Daily Voice. "Then someone said they saw her in some water, and she didn't look right. Today I found her off the side of the road in Stratford, and I could tell something was wrong. She was just looking at me, and didn't do anything.
"I checked her wings for blood, then decided to take her to A Place Called Hope (a raptor rehabilitation and education center in Killingworth, Conn.)."
Alomaisi wrapped the owl in his jacket, and headed toward the rehab center.
Christine Cummings, who examined the owl, said she was emaciated - starving to death. The owl also had mites between its eyes. "The mites go to the warmest spot on the body, and when a bird is this cold, they start to go up to the head, and go up to the tip of the feathers," she said. "Unfortunately it's not a good sign. We have to get her body core temperature risen, do lots of hydration, and hopefully she'll survive."
The hope is that the owl will recover in the near future, and be released back into the wild where Alomaisi found her.
Alomaisi kept his Facebook followers up to date on the situation, and said the response has been great. "Everyone is asking about the owl," he said. "I can't even respond to all the Facebook messages, but it's great that everyone is so concerned."
Responses on Alamaisi's Facebook post on the rescue include comments like "Thank you for rescuing this beautiful bird! Bless your heart for doing so," "You are a blessing to this world Anwar,!" "You can tell she went into the care of someone who really loves the birds."
Alomaisi, a Red Cross member since 2005, has rescued hawks, other owls and many animals during his travels. He loves photographing the wilderness and the animals, but it's all in a day's work for him.
"I feel good that I may have saved her life," he said.
Video of the owl and Alomaisi delivering her to Cummings' care can be seen on Alomaisi's Facebook page