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Great Horned Owl Caught in Leghold Trap

This huge adult female Great-horned Owl was the victim of a leg hold trap set for rabbits in a homeowners yard. — at Raptor Education Group, Inc.

A beautiful adult female Great-horned Owl caught in a leg hold trap set for rabbits, was admitted to the Raptor Education Group rescue center. The owl was caught by the toes of her left foot. The toes are deeply cut and there is damage from compression of the trap to the foot. The owl was caught about 6 a.m. Our thanks to Cassandra Poi-Stoflet of Fierce Heart Wildlife Rehab for rescuing the owl and educating the homeowner. Thanks to REGI transporter John Molski for driving her from Plover to REGI.
Please be careful of setting traps as they are accessible to non-target animals and birds. Setting traps requires skill and knowledge of the natural history of all of the animals that may encounter them. Owls are a natural predator to rodents and rabbits. The rabbits would have been taken care naturally without the use of traps.
We hope for the best for this lovely owl. Great-horned Owl breeding season is coming up soon. We hope we can get her home in time for breeding.

We don’t know how many birds of prey are trapped in Wyoming each year. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department regulations state that “If a ….raptor is trapped and has been injured in such a way that the injury may result in death of the animal or if the animal has been killed, the trapper shall notify a Department law enforcement officer as soon as is reasonably possible.” This places the decision on the trapper to judge if this raptor will be able to survive if released. Only one trapping incident was reported in Wyoming last year, although we know that many are unreported.

If you discover a trapped bird of prey, please notify the nearest rescue shelter or your local wildlife management.

The Teton Raptor Center near Jackson, Wyoming is our closest rescue facility. Injured Raptor Hotline 307.200.6019
Rehabilitation of injured raptors is an important part of our mission. We have worked with 24 species of injured or sick raptors, brought to us from throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The most common raptors we worked with in 2016 were Great Horned Owls (39), Swainson’s Hawks (19) and Red-Tailed Hawks (17).

**Thank you Raptor Education Group, Inc. for treating this injured owl!

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