Criminal Case Filed Over Mutilated Owl

Someone has mutilated an owl in Santa Clara County, and the Gilroy Police Department is on the case.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Aug 3, 2011  |  Updated 4:05 PM PDT
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Dangerous Creatures

You can see in this photo the change in wing span.

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An owl mutiliator is on the loose in Santa Clara County -- and local animal activists plan to find the miscreant and bring him or her to justice.

The barn owl was found in a local man's driveway on June 20 and was delivered to the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center in Morgan Hill, according to the San Jose Mercury News. There, vets x-rayed the adult female bird and found that the bird's left wing had essentially been cut off below "the wrist," meaning the bird is now flightless. The bird's wing appears to have been "surgically amputated," according to wildlife experts at the center.

That lead the center to file a police report with the Gilroy Police Department, which is now investigating a potential animal cruelty case, according to the newspaper. 

It's unclear why someone with surgical skills would apply them to rendering an owl flightless. Workers at the center posit that whomever did the cutting did so to keep the owl grounded for use as a pet. Since the owl cannot fly, it cannot hunt, and must be kept at the center, which is intended to nurse birds back to health for release into the wild.

This is the first case of its kind seen by Amy Yee, who is president of the rescue center's board, according to the newspaper.

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