"This was the first time I've handled a young owl," MacElhiney told The Dodo. "We see them in town, but very rarely. Its talons were well developed and could definitely hurt someone. It's always neat to be able to help a creature out, but at the time I didn't know if it would have been best to just leave it."
Considering the owl was wet and freezing, and susceptible to being attacked by a predator where he was, MacElhiney decided to carry him to safety.