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Owl spends night in police holding cell on the road to recovery

The owl has spent the past month at Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre after it was flown from Poplar River. Handout

WINNIPEG — A malnourished snowy owl from northern Manitoba has had quite the road to recovery.

The owl has spent the past month at Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre after it was flown from Poplar River.

Someone working in the northern Manitoba community found the creature on the side of the road and recognized it was not healthy.

“It just didn’t seem quite right so he put it in the passenger seat of his truck and it just sat there,” said Steve Loney with the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre.

The man eventually got a dog kennel for the bird donated by a business in town and he then took the owl to the local RCMP detachment.

“The RCMP phoned the airline Northway Aviation who offered to fly the (owl) out for free,” said Loney.

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There was one problem, the flight was the next day. Two RCMP officers cared for the creature and kept it in one of the holding cells, typically used for people who have been arrested, until the flight.

RELATED: Wildlife rehab centre caring for unusually high number of snowy owls

Loney said the bird made its flight and after landing in St.Andrews it was taken to Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre.

“It took a month to recover,” Loney said. “It was suffering from starvation and dehydration.”

Loney told Global News the snowy owl population has spiked this year and there isn’t enough food for them. That has led to an increase in the number of owls brought to the centre.

Now that the owl has recovered, it will be released back into the wild on Boxing Day at Oak Hammock Marsh.

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