Snowy owl shot in Pictou County

Staff ~ The News
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PICTOU COUNTY - A snowy owl was found with a gun shot on Friday and had to be euthanized as a result.

This snowy owl was found shot with a pellet gun in Pictou County.

An employee of the Department of Natural Resources discovered an injured snowy owl on Dec. 27 in Pictou County and took it to the Cobequid Rehabilitation Centre in Hilden.

Initially they thought the injured bird might have been hit by a car or something, but after a closer examination and some X-rays they discovered it had been shot, said DNR spokesperson Bruce Nunn.

He said the bird had a pellet lodged behind its eye and doctors deteremined that there was no way they could save the bird without it living for years in pain and enventually dying of lead poisoning.

Nunn said it’s illegal to interfere with wildlife.

Snowy owls are not common in this area, but Nunn said biologists have seen more of them in this area over the last number of years as the birds leave their northern habitat in search of food.

The snowy owl is known to prey on lemmings, which have a strong population in Nova Scotia.

The Cobequid Rehabilitation Centre’s Facebook page has pictures of the bird and a note stating, “The owl the CWRC received tonight had been shot by a pellet gun of some kind. 1 pellet fell out on the x-ray table. One fractured the bird's left wrist and a third was lodged behind it's left eye after passing through it.

"The bird was humanely euthanized while under anesthetic. It was also severely emaciated and had lice. Thanks to everyone who tried to help this owl. Everyone tried their best to help it but it was sadly beyond our capacity to save it.” 

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, Cobequid Rehabilitation Centre

Geographic location: Pictou County, Hilden, Nova Scotia

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