MENTONE (AP) — A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy has found a bucket full of seven baby barn owls in the back of a car he pulled over in the city of Mentone.

Animal rehabilitation specialist Lenore Will of Yucaipa was called after Monday’s traffic stop and had the driver show her the nest in a bunker once used for rocket testing.

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Will says it is a myth that parent birds won’t take babies back if they have been handled.

She put them back, then visited on Tuesday. Will says the mother shooed her away, a good sign she took the owls back.

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Will says the driver planned to sell the birds to a pet shop and possession is illegal.

The driver wasn’t arrested but Fish and Game officials will investigate.

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