Snowy owl shot in Pictou County

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A snowy owl was shot and had to be euthanized as a result.


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 determined that there was no way they could save the bird without it living for years in pain and eventually 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 which stated:

“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, Hildon, Northern Habitat Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Sandy
    January 02, 2014 - 12:13

    Unfortunately, idiots are everywhere, Nova Scotia is no exception.

  • Judith Haggerty
    January 01, 2014 - 10:14

    How could anyone do such a thing to this beautiful bird who moved here desperately in search of food. We all loved having this gorgeous owl make it's home around Big Island? It's devastating to think that some mean, stupid, made it suffer and be killed.

  • Victoria
    December 31, 2013 - 20:12

    Pictou County Proud...what destructive animals in this county! This is so sad.