April 6, 2011
MENTONE, Calif. (KABC) -- A traffic stop leads to a startling discovery of a bucket full of baby barn owls.
They may be safe now, but that wasn't the case two days ago, when the baby barn owls were snatched from their nest and thrown into a bucket.
"Some of the disgusting stuff people do to animals is enough to make you cry," said Animal Rescuer Lenore Will. She said the two guys who did this were apparently going to try to sell them for as much money as they could get.
"I know they've called at least one pet shop who I've already talked to," said Will. "They wanted to sell them. They're wildlife, they're protected."
Will said one of the babies here was less than a day old, and if they weren't returned to their nest quickly, they might not have survived.
"You know, I tried to time it," said Will. "They were only out of that area for three hours, and that's awesome."
As for the seven baby owls she helped save back in March, it's tough to say how long they'll survive given the traumatic events. Will said she is disgusted by what happened, and doesn't know why someone would try to bother an owl.
"They hunt at night," said Will. "They don't bother your songbirds, your kids, your dogs, your-mother-in-law. They're just out there at night, minding their business."
She put them back, then visited on Tuesday. Will says the mother shooed her away, a good sign she took the owls back. It is a myth that parent birds won’t take babies back if they have been handled.
The driver planned to sell the birds to a pet shop and possession is illegal.
Migratory Bird Treaty Act -
(such as ducks, geese, songbirds, gulls, shorebirds, wading birds, birds of prey)
To many, the owl is a mythical creature. And here in California it's a protected species.
Fish and Game said they know who did this, and they're pursuing misdemeanor charges for the suspects.
Archived video March 30, 2011 Inland Empire News