Great horned owl discovered completely covered in oil after getting into pit

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A great horned owl that was found completely covered in oil is recovering in California.

According to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network, the juvenile owl was found on Monday at the oil pits in Dulah, a city just west of Ventura.

Although the oil pits are covered to protect wildlife from getting trapped, this owl managed to get in.

"We think he tried to catch a rat that was on a covered oil pit," the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network wrote on its Facebook page.

A great horned owl was covered in oil in California.

"This was a total accident, as these fields are wildlife-proofed, but the force of him trying to attack his prey must have compromised the cover on the pit and he fell in," the group wrote, adding that he is "inexperienced" at catching prey.

In an updated post, the wildlife group wrote that the owl is "alive, alert and angry," and headed to the International Bird Rescue for further oil washing.

The process of washing the oil off the oil is quite time-consuming, the conservation group says.

Great horned owls, also known as tiger owls, typically feed on rabbits and hares, rats and mice, or other rodents. The birds tend to hunt at night and just before sunrise.

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