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20 December 2019, 14:24
The little creature had been nesting in the tree, completely unnoticed for an entire week!
A young girl had a bit of a shock when she found an owl was chilling inside her family's indoor Christmas tree.
India Newman, 10, couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the tiny bird sitting comfortably on one of the tree's branches, as the tree had been inside their house for over a week!
India's mum, Kate McBride spoke to CNN India about the situation and explained she was terrified to see the bird of prey nesting alongside the ornaments.
She said India "burst into tears" when she ran into the living room to tell her bemused parents.
Kate said: "She comes very dramatically into the dining room and goes, 'Mama, that ornament scared me.'"
She initially thought India was referring to one of the many decorations on their tree, but it turns out it was actually an owl.
They left their windows and doors open during the night so their guest could leave by itself, but it didn't want to go.
The family woke up the next morning to the same owl sitting on top of the tree, having an 'owling great time, so they decided to get some help to remove the bird safely.
They called up the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) to remove the owl last weekend and a Wildlife Tech told them the bird may have been been living in the tree for over a week after they'd come to inspect the scene.
With the help of the CNC, they managed to get the bird out of the tree and into a pet carrier, placing him outside to release at midnight.
Kate shared her "Owl Gate" experience on Facebook, posting a plate of raw chicken on a tree branch, saying: "He ate some chicken!!! You can see the plate in the tree if you scroll down a bit in the pic!
"When I peeked around the tree to check on him, he hopped back up to his perch on the higher branch."
She also praised the centre, calling them "truly good Samaritans who saved out Christmas Owl".