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Snowy owl trapped at airport treated at New London veterinarian's office

Snowy Owl at its exam at Wolf River Veterinary Clinic in New London, January 9, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

NEW LONDON, Wis. (WLUK) -- A special bird may soon be back in the wild. A snowy owl is scheduled to be released in a couple of weeks.

The big white bird was trapped last month at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

But before it can take flight, a New London veterinarian gave the owl a final check-up.

At the Wolf River Veterinary Clinic, wildlife rehabilitator Pat Fisher made a special delivery Tuesday afternoon.

"This is the second time. He came in, because he was really at a bad weight when we trapped him," said Pat Fisher, The Feather Wildlife Rehab/Education Center.

Fisher says the non-profit helps birds like the owl recover to the point where the birds can be set free. Sometimes those animals need veterinary care like x-rays and medication.

"This one has a throat infection. So, he put it on medication for 10-14 days," said Fisher.

Dr. Jim Ziegler started the Wolf River Clinic 22 years ago. From dogs to guinea pigs, Ziegler says he treats them all.

"We don't see a lot of snowys, that's for sure. I think maybe this is the third one I've seen over the years," said Dr. Jim Ziegler, Wolf River Veterinary Clinic.

The snowy owl was trapped last month at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. A maintenance worker shot and killed a similar owl, after that bird got too close to an active runway in November.

In 20 years at the clinic, Ziegler treated about 900 birds from The Feather. He never sent a bill.

"He's amazing. He's a good caring person. That's all you can say. He doesn't make any money on us at all, and I inconvenience him continually," said Fisher.

"Well, she brings us a vegetable platter every year, so that's kind of our compensation," said Ziegler.

Kidding aside Dr. Ziegler says he's happy to help.

"Veterinarian medicine is a lot about feel good. You go home at night, you want sleep at night. And at the end of the day, you've helped something. Then you sleep at night," he said.

Dr. Ziegler says the owl's infection cleared up, and it could be released once the bird gains a little more weight.

He says he hopes to be there to take it all in.

Have you seen any snowy owls this winter? Share a photo or video with us:


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