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Protected Snowy Owl shot and killed at close range

February 21, 2012|By Karl Man | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
Courtesy Ken Lockwood, Eagle Valley Raptor Center

(BARTON COUNTY, Kan.) — A Snowy Owl was shot and killed at Cheyenne Bottoms last Thursday Barton County authorities say. A passer-by at Cheyenne Bottom saw the bird and notified authorities.

"As far as hawks and owls being shot we do have a major threat with that in the state", says game warden Brian Hanzlick. 

Hanzlick says he is keeping busy searching the wetlands for any leads in the case. Authorities say the case has attracted the attention of U.S. fish and wildlife.

"As far as cohesiveness we will all work together and try and figure this case out", added Hanzlick.

The bird was taken to the Great Bend Zoo for further examination at their Raptor Center. Eyewitness News spoke with workers at the Raptor Center, they say the snowy owl arrived in bad shape and there was little they could do to save the bird.

"Usually if they are shot they do not make it because it's usually a buckshot and they are pretty well damaged", says Marge Bowen with the Great Bend Zoo. 

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The bird was shot at close range and authorities believe it was not accidental. They added that they do not believe a hunter is to blame...they say that a poacher might have a role in the shooting death.

The Snowy Owl is a protected bird and the punishment for killing the owl is a fine and a of loss of hunting license.

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