JACKSON (CBS13) — An owl that had been illegally kept as a pet has been released back into the wild.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the owl was found back during the execution of a warrant across several locations in San Joaquin County back in March.READ MORE: Who Is Mark Lavea, Suspect Killed In San Andreas Hostage Situation?
While the investigation was focused on allegations of drug, weapons trafficking and vehicle theft, authorities made a peculiar discovery at one of the locations – a great horned owl being unlawfully held as a pet.READ MORE: Trap, Tag, Haze: New Efforts To Get Bears To Behave In Tahoe Area
Badly decaying raptor carcasses were found with the owl. A warden responded and safely seized the bird, which was eventually transported to the Tri County Wildlife Care rehab facility.
On Tuesday, after being rehabilitated for several weeks at the facility, the owl was released back into the wild.MORE NEWS: Yuba City Neighborhood 'Traumatized' After High Speed Drivers Repeatedly Crash Into Homes
Charges of possession of a restricted species and suspected illegal take of raptor species have been forwarded to prosecutors to add to the crimes already being investigated in the search warrants, authorities say.