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Snowy owl that visited Washington returns to the wild

The snowy owl was released in Wisconsin after receiving treatment in Minnesota. (Associated Press)

A snowy owl that apparently was hit by a bus in Washington flew back into the wild on Saturday, after weeks of rehabilitation in Minnesota and procedures to replace its flight feathers.

Officials with the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota released the owl outside Superior, Wisconsin. That location was chosen by a biologist because snowy owls have been spotted there in recent winters, indicating that it’s a good area for hunting.

“The snowy flew off with strong, steady wing beats, showing off the new flight feathers,” said Julia Ponder, the Raptor Center’s director. “He is in great condition and will hopefully head back north in the coming days.”

The owl was found injured in downtown Washington in late January and taken to the National Zoo before being transferred to a local wildlife rehabilitation center. It was then sent to the Raptor Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, which has expertise in replacing damaged feathers. The owl completed a three-week exercise program before it was ready for release.

Associated Press

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