Great horned owl gives heartwarming hug to man who saved her life

Posted at 3:01 PM, Jun 08, 2016

VANCLEAVE, Mississippi -- When she arrived at an animal rescue in Mississippi, a great horned owl named GiGi was one of the sickest and most hurt wild birds they'd ever seen.

They never thought they'd see her recover -- let alone demonstrate such a touching show of appreciation toward her caregiver in photos that are now capturing hearts all over social media.

The Dodo reports that Douglas Pojeky, president of Wild at Heart Rescue, quickly stepped in to take care of the sick bird when she arrived. She had a massive concussion, parasites and aspergillosis, which is similar to pneumonia.

Missy Dubuisson, founder of the rescue, said GiGi went from being at "death's door" to feeding on her own as she amazingly recovered with Pojeky's help.

During the course of her treatment, Pojeky went out of town for some time to visit family. When he returned, he was examining her when GiGi began to get excited.

She then walked up to his chest, put her wings around him and appeared to hug him.

Photos of the touching moments are posted on the Wild at Heart Rescue's Facebook page.

"In all my years of working with birds of prey, I have never seen someone with such a bond with these magnificent birds," Dubuisson told the Dodo.

The photos of GiGi and Pojeky have gone viral, and their story has been picked up by numerous media outlets.

Once GiGi is fully recovered, she will be released back into the wild.