By Hayley Pugh

This rescue owl looked too wet to woo during a wash and blow dry to treat a skin infection.

The morepork owl was pictured during a special medicated bubble bath at the Wildbase animal hospital in New Zealand, after he was admitted with wounds on the bottom of his feet and bacteria on his skin.

The hilarious snaps show the bedraggled bird looking unrecognisably tiny and decidedly sorry for himself during the wash, before his fluffy plumage is restored to its former glory with a blow dry.

Pauline Nijman, a supervisor at Wildbase, said: “The morepork was sent to us for rehabilitation after being found out of the nest.

“We discovered it had poor weatherproofing, slick looking feathers and scaly skin and investigated further by taking samples.

“Those samples showed a high burden of bacteria on the skin so a medicated wash was needed.

“We used a chlorhexidine soap, which is used by surgeons to clean skin ready for surgery.

“This is a similar technique we use for oiled birds and have the set up to do it.

“The morepork clearly didn’t enjoy the bubble bath but it was necessary to help him prepare for release.

“After a few hours under the blow dryers he was looking spiffy and ready to try out his clean feathers and skin back in our rehab aviaries at Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery with the hopes of being released soon.”

Wildbase Hospital, which is funded by donations, is attached to Massey University’s veterinary school and is New Zealand’s only dedicated wildlife hospital.

It sees around 400 native animals each year, half of which are endangered.

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