Snowy Owl Found in Alakef Coffee Equipment

Baihly Warfield
November 30, 2017 06:24 PM

Ezra Bennett was closing out a normal day at Alakef Coffee Roasters when he heard a clunking coming from a piece of equipment. 

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"There wasn't a pattern to it, but it was unusual," Bennett said.

It was in the chaff collector, which holds the dusty residue left over from roasting coffee. 

"So I opened this thing up, and there's something moving in here," Bennett explained. "And it's dark, I don't have a light in here."

At first, he couldn't tell what it was. But then he saw feathers. 

"I looked, and I caught the eye, and she almost flew out at me," Bennett quickly slammed the door shut and yelled for someone to call Wildwoods. 

Tara Smith was on the other end. 

"I kind of laughed, and I seriously thought it was a prank call," Smith laughed. "I'm like, 'There's an owl in your coffee machine.' And he's like, 'Yes.'"

So they sent someone down and were able to safely get the owl out of the chaff collector using a coffee bean bag. Bennett started calling her Mocha, after a port in Yemen. Wildwoods believes she's a female because of her bigger size. 

Bennett doesn't think she was in the chaff collector long because he frequently cleans the equipment. They're pretty sure she dropped in through the smokestack. 

There is a video of rescue posted on YouTube.

Thankfully, she didn't seem to be injured when she was pulled out, and no coffee was harmed either. 

"It has absolutely nothing to do with the front part," Bennett explained. "All it is is a chimney."

Smith said Wildwoods has seen quite a few snowy owls this year. 

"They're having a population boom," she said. "So if you talk to the local birders, they're all about the snowys right now."

Smith said she thinks they are coming south early to look for food. She joked that Mocha was a nicer smelling delivery than they usually get. 

"He is probably the best smelling owl I have ever encountered. As soon as the crate came in, it was like this heavenly aroma of coffee," Smith said. 

She was brought down to the Raptor Center in St. Paul for a second checkup. 

"Conditions were almost sandstorm-like with coffee grounds, so we want to make sure he didn't aspirate any coffee," Smith said. "We just want to make sure he gets a clean bill of health before we let her go."

As for Alakef, Bennett said they are thinking about adding a cover on the smokestack so it doesn't happen again. 


Baihly Warfield

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