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Great Horned Owl from Grand Island recovering from West Nile Virus

A great horned owl is recovering at a local wildlife rehabilitation facility after being stricken with West Nile Virus.

The adult owl was found sick last month on Grand Island and was taken to the SPCA Serving Erie County, according to local wildlife rehabilitator Bernadette Clabeaux.

The owl spent about a month at the SPCA's West Seneca facility recuperating before being moved to an enclosure under Clabeaux's care.

West Nile Virus case diagnosed in Erie County

"He is still a little wobbly since West Nile causes encephalitis and nerve damage," said Clabeaux. 

The owl's age or gender weren't immediately known.

Clabeaux said owls and hawks can contract West Nile by eating infected prey or a louse fly that feeds like mosquitoes do.

If the owl isn't able to fully recover for a return to the wild, he may stay in captivity and used for educational purposes.


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