By Darius Kila
HNN Summer Intern
LIHUE, Kauai (HawaiiNewsNow) -- Just two months after being released from rehabilitation, a young endangered pueo is dead.
The pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl, was apparently struck by a car on the highway between Waimea and Hanapepe.
The endangered animal had been rescued in late March after also being struck by a car.
It's the third pueo found dead on Kauai roads in recent days.
André Raine, of the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, rescued the pueo back in March and said its death is a "sad end to a successful rehabilitation story."
"Tragically, as with so many of our endangered native birds, the pueo was struck again by an automobile – this time fatally."
Owls are often attracted to roadsides by rats and mice, which in turn are attracted by the easy pickings of food scraps and rubbish discarded by people.
"The act of throwing trash out your car window not only impacts the environment visually, but can have direct and detrimental effects on wild birds like pueo and nene," said Tracy Anderson, of Save Our Shearwaters.
The owl deaths come as the state is in the midst of a public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging drivers to watch out for native birds. The campaign included PSAs, videos and additional roadside signage.