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EPPING, N.H. (AP) — Animal welfare officials say several owls are dying from eating rodents who have consumed poison.

Bird experts say several sick owls have been found in the Epping area. Expert Jane Kelly tells WMUR-TV that she believes rodenticide is to blame, saying owls are snatching up rats or mice that have already been fatally sickened by rodent poison.

Over the past few months, rescuers have found five owls that Kelly believes ate poisoned rodents. Two barred owls and one snowy owl have died, while two snowy owls have survived. Kelly says she hopes people will use mechanical traps instead of poison in the future.

Kelly says if anyone encounters a bird that appears to be sickened, they should call local authorities.

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Information from: WMUR-TV, http://wmur.com