Online outrage over firefighters rescuing owls

There is some outrage online over four baby owls rescued from a nest that was on top of a highway sign in Apache Junction.

Those upset feel that the owls should have been left alone.

A wildlife conservation group says they might have died if they weren't rescued.

It was a big nest that many noticed while driving on the US 60. Superstition Fire helped with the rescue, but when they posted photos on their Facebook page many spoke out against the rescue.

On Wednesday crews saved 4 owlets from a huge nest on the Idaho Road exit on the US60.

Terry Stevens from Liberty Wildlife said it was in the best interest of the baby owls.

"Our hotline received a call from someone in the area who said the parents had not been back for a few days, and there was a dead baby hanging from the nest. We dispatched a volunteer, she assessed the situation and determined there was no baby hanging from the nest, but she did notice it was in a very dangerous place," said Stevens.

After photos were posted on Facebook many asked why they didn't leave the nest alone. 

"They've accused us of taking the birds out that didn't need to be rescued, they weren't in immediate danger for the next few minutes, but they were close to leaving the nest, and the next step would be to fall the length of the sign to the highway and into traffic," he said.

The four rescued owls are among 13 being fostered at the rescue group. Stevens said the four owls will be released back into the wild in September.

"We're going to take them right back to the same neighborhood, so the owls will return," said Stevens.

He said they don't name the birds they're going to release. Firefighters also removed the nest.

ADOT officials had planned to remove the nest after nesting season. It was made by another bird who abandoned it and the owls took over, Stevens said the owls don't build their own nests. 
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