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OXNARD : Hurt Owl Found in Tub; Man Cited

A 32-year-old Oxnard man has been ordered to appear in Ventura County Municipal Court to respond to charges of shooting a horned owl because he thought it was bad luck, authorities said.

Javier Valdivia, who is scheduled to appear in court next month, was cited by sheriff’s deputies Friday after they discovered an injured owl with its talons tied with wire in Valdivia’s bathtub, said Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Lazz.

Authorities had received a call about 1:25 a.m. from Valdivia’s neighbor in the 3500 block of Almond Drive saying that he had heard seven shots and had seen his neighbor standing naked outside his apartment with a rifle, Lazz said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded and talked with Valdivia, who said he had shot at an owl in a tree outside his apartment because “the animal was bad luck,” Lazz said.

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According to authorities, Valdivia was evasive when questioned about the rifle. While they were searching his apartment for it, they found an owl that had been shot and tied up, Lazz said.

Deputies recovered a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle and cited Valdivia for attempting to take a non-game bird, Lazz said.

County animal control officers were called to take the bird and later decided to put the animal to death, said Mia Frost, chief of field operations.

“It was a beautiful bird,” Frost said. “It was a horned owl, small--about 4 pounds--and the veterinarian had it put down. The bullet shattered a bone in the bird’s wing. It would not have flown again.”

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Valdivia is scheduled to appear Jan. 13 in Ventura County Municipal Court to respond to the citation, Lazz said.


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