New protocol for snowy owls at Wittman Regional Airport

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - New procedures are being finalized at Wittman Airport in Oshkosh after a snowy owl was shot and killed two weeks ago.

Snow at Wittman Regional Airport
Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh (WBAY photo)

Action 2 News learned the owl was killed with a legal permit because of how close it was to the runway.

But that left many people upset.

The death of a snowy owl on the Wittman Regional Airport property left Winnebago Audubon Society President Janet Wissink with this question: What else could have been done to save the snowy owl?

So she reached out to Peter Moll, the airport's manager.

"Asked him if he'd like to meet with us, that we'd like to talk about maybe a new protocol," said Wissink.

Wissink says Moll agreed to meet.

She along with falconers and a wildlife rehabilitator proposed a plan last Thursday.

"We made the offer to have volunteer falconers available and provide bow nets for trapping, live trapping, and they were very receptive to that," said Wissink.

The airport says it will still attempt to scare away snowy owls and other types of birds.

But if that fails and there isn't a serious threat of a bird striking a plane, a volunteer trapper will be contacted.

"I think we both felt very relieved that we could work together and establish some sort of new procedures that we can follow and that helps both of us actually in the end," Moll told us.

The plan will be finalized Monday.

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