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A snowy owl that was rescued along a busy Minnesota interstate back in December was released back into the wild recently.

The news cycle here in Minnesota lately has been pretty intense, with continuing coverage of the Chauvin trial, the Daunte Wright shooting, the continuing pandemic and now even the death of former vice president Walter Mondale. So if you could use a little good news, check out this story of a snowy owl who was just released back into the wild after finishing his rehab here in Minnesota.

You have to go back to December of 2020, along a snowy stretch of I-494 in Richfield (about an hour and 20 minutes northwest of Rochester.) It was then that Minnesota Department of Transportation plow driver Jesse Quam noticed a snowy owl that was injured and in distress on the shoulder of the highway.

According to a post on the City of Richfield Facebook page, Jesse, thinking quickly, got in touch with the Wood Lake Nature Center, who then notified naturalist Scott Ramsay. Scott and Jesse teamed up to capture the injured owl and take him to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, where he was treated and stayed for several months as he was rehabbing.

And, late last week, the snowy owl (which they estimate was about 2 years old) was recently set free, having been released back into the wild at the Sherburne National Wildlife Sanctuary. Check out the cool video below. Of course, I'm a big animal nut, so anytime I see humans helping a wild animal in distress, I'm impressed.

Owls have been in the news here in Rochester lately, too, with a great horned owl nest spotted in the trees along West River Road in Rochester back in March. I've heard the distinctive call of the great horned owl several times at night at our house in northwest Rochester, as well.

Seeing a snowy owl here in Minnesota, though, is kind of a big deal-- because the Minnesota DNR says they're not native here, typically nesting in Canada and Alaska and really only stopping by Minnesota to hunt for food during the winter. And while we're still thinking about animals, keep scrolling to check out some amazing facts about how different animals sleep!

 

LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom