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Michigan bird rescue to auction chance to release a snowy owl

By Daniel Uria   |   March 24, 2016 at 2:12 PM

MARQUETTE, Mich., March 24 (UPI) -- A bird rescue group in Michigan is offering the opportunity to spend some quality time with a rare snow owl before releasing it back into the wild.

Chocolay Raptor Center announced it will hold an auction March 25-30 to let people bid on the chance to handle and release a snow owl.

"The snowy owl is a 1-­year­‐old female that was found weak and emaciated after emigrating south to the [Upper Peninsula] from the Arctic in early January," the center's staff wrote. "She survived and has been fed up to normal weight. She is healthy and flies well and is ready for release, just in time to migrate back to her home in the Arctic."

Prior to releasing the owl on April 3, the winner will also receive a picture with the bird and will get to handle a great horned owl during a mandatory training session.

"They'll have to come out on Friday or Saturday to get a lesson on how to safely handle the bird, and we'll be using our resident great horned owl for that. So the snowy will just be handled the once," Chocolay Raptor Center co-founder Jerry Maynard told WWJ.

The auction will be held online via the Chocolay Raptor Center's Facebook page. A minimum bid of $400 will be set to begin the auction: Bidding will then increase in $25 increments.

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