MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) — A pair of rare burrowing owls was found dead on the Shoreline Golf Links after a bottle was shoved into their burrow.

The owls were found trapped in their burrow by a bottle apparently shoved into the opening on March 17.

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City wildlife biologist Phil Higgins said that the owls died of environmental stress and dehydration.  He said one of the owls was alive when found, but had to be euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.

The bottle shoved into the burrow was for golfers to repair divots in turf on the course.  Although the course has records of who was golfing the weekend before the birds were found, they have not identified any suspects in the incident.

The course’s pro shop posted flyers warning golfers not to disturb the owls, or their burrows.

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Mountain View has established a plan to preserve the owls, with a goal of 10 nesting pairs at Shoreline Park.  They’ve created artificial burrows, planted native foliage and added surveillance cameras at nesting sites.

Burrowing owls are protected by state and federal regulations.  If the city catches the owl killers, they could face fines and jail time.

A security camera is monitoring another pair of owls on the course.

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More: KPIX 5 Animals Page