HALE’S FORD, Va. (WFXR) — A young female mourning dove is back in the wild tonight, winging her way around the Hale’s Ford area of Franklin County.

The little bird spent three weeks healing at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke, after being found injured and floating in Smith Mountain Lake.

Captain Weston Hartman of Hartman Guide Services saw her floating in the water and pulled her out. He then handed her off to the WFXR Outdoors Bound Team. And from there, we transported her to the wildlife center.

The mourning dove had injuries to her torso and wing but made a full recovery.

“Doves are a very hardy species,” said Sabrina Garvin, Director of Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke. “We had to give her some antibiotics and medication, and she healed up beautifully.”

Garvin pulled the mourning dove from a plastic carrier, and the little bird quickly flew away.

“It was awesome. It was awesome. I never thought it would go that far,” Hartman said of the mourning dove he rescued. “I never thought they’d even be able to save it. I kind of thought it was a lost cause, but that was awesome. It’s like it remembered where it was and flew right up into the trees. It was pretty cool.”

If you find a sick or injured animal, you can call the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke for information on how to proceed. The center cares for hundreds of animals every year and tries to release them into the wild in the areas from which they were found.

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