Injured owl hugs rescuer in heartwarming photos

A moving pair of photos of a wildlife rescuer getting what appears to be a hug from a great horned owl under his care have gone viral.

The owl, GiGi, and rescuer, Douglas "Doug" Pojeky, appear to be sharing a special moment in images posted to Facebook on June 4.

"There are pretty much no words to describe these two photos," Missy Dubuisson, director of Wild at Heart Rescue, wrote in the post. "They show their gratitude."

The photos were snapped after Pojeky returned to the Vancleave, Mississippi-based rescue organization in May after a trip.

Fish and wildlife officers in Seminary brought the great horned owl to rescuers at Wild at Heart Rescue in May. She had been hit by a car and suffered "significant head trauma," rescuers said.

"This bird was one of the most critical we have ever taken care of," Dubuisson told The Dodo. "The fact that this bird has lived is beyond comprehension."

GiGi quickly formed a bond with Pojeky, the group's lead rescuer and president, who is also known as the "birds of prey whisperer."

"There are truly no words to describe what happens here between Doug and these birds of prey," Dubuisson wrote on Facebook. "It's like they communicate. And I actually don't think anybody in this world has a relationship with birds of prey like he does."

Pojeky left at the end of May for a trip to visit family in Michigan. When he returned earlier this month, GiGi greeted him exuberantly, bobbing and dancing with him.

"Nothing these birds of prey do anymore surprises me," Dubuisson wrote on Facebook. "I have learned to accept the fact that it's just going to happen, and to have the camera ready at all times. These moments must be captured and frozen in time."

Anyone wishing to donate to Wild at Heart Rescue can do so on the group's website.