An owl struck up such a bond with the man who saved her that she couldn’t stop hugging him after the pair were reunited.
GiGi was suffering from severe concussion, thought to be the result of being hit by a car, when she was brought into Wild at Heart Rescue in Mississippi.
The bird was also riddled with parasites and she lost a pound in weight during the treatment that saved her life.
Affection: GiGi missed the man who nursed her back to health while he was away (Wild At Heart Rescue)
President of the rescue centre, Douglas “Doug” Pojeky, known as the “bird of prey whisperer”, devoted his time to nursing GiGi back to health - and the pair struck up an incredible friendship.
In fact, when Pojeky went on a trip, it seems that GiGi missed every second without him and when he returned, she rested her head on his shoulder and draped her wings around him in a loving hug.
Missy Dubuisson, founder and director of Wild at Heart, told The Dodo: “In all my years of working with birds of prey, I have never seen someone with such a bond with these magnificent birds.”
Back from the brink: The owl was at death’s door before she was rescue (Wild At Heart Rescue)
She added: "It literally brings tears to my eyes to watch him interact with these birds.
”They absolutely know him and trust him. It’s the trust that you see in her face.”
GiGi will be released back into the wild once she is back to full health.
Top pic: Wild At Heart Rescue