Officials at the New England Wildlife Center made public the sad news of a snowy owl rescued by a good Samaritan has died.

"Despite our veterinary team's best efforts, we were not able to turn his health around," the center posted to its Facebook page. "We are absolutely heartbroken that we were unable to save him. This is certainly not the outcome we had hoped for, but we are grateful for the opportunity to try and help and that he was comfortable in the end."

The veterinarian team said a combination of the owl struggling in cold ocean waters, starvation, hypothermia and stress were too much to bear. The owl had been rescued during Friday's snowstorm.

Is it possible that animals can die of stress?

"Yes, it's the equivalent of a human going into shock," said Keith Lovett, director of New Bedford's Buttonwood Park Zoo. "Stress is a major situation you deal with both in wild and zoo animals. Sometimes animals get stress when placed in a new habitat. Other times, we need to go on in and get our hands on an animal to see about a medical issue they're having, and that can cause an enormous amount of stress, so we need to be careful and diligent on how we handle them."

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

Birds are something Lovett certainly knows about.

"We have a little under 100 species of birds at the zoo, everything from owls – not snowy owls, but other species, and so many more in the rain forrest region," Lovett said.

It's not only wildlife and zoo animals that can succumb to the cold. Our own pets can fall victim if we're not careful.

"We're going to be seeing some cold temperatures out there," Lovett said. "Make sure you're paying attention to how long your pets are outside. We do the same thing at the zoo. Just pay attention to how cold it's going to be."

Items Dangerous to Animals That You Have in Your Yard

We spoke with Wild Care Cape Cod Executive Director Stephanie Ellis about the dangers of many everyday yard items and how they can affect the wildlife we know and love. Here are some of the dangers your yard may present to animals and how you can reduce their risk.

Massachusetts Wildlife You Can Legally Take Home as Pets

Massachusetts has such diverse wildlife, but also strict limitations on what you can bring home and cuddle. In fact, there are only certain reptiles and amphibians you can keep as pets (so no raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, etc.) and you are only allowed two of each. The state also says "you cannot sell, barter, or exchange them." Also, keep in mind, these are wildlife, so it's probably best to just leave them be and maybe visit a reptile shop instead to get your next pet.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420