ALCOA (WATE) – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating after a nest of four owls were found tortured this week inside a building at an Alcoa business.

Four young barn owls were found in all at Remco on N. Hall Road. Two were already dead, a third had to be euthanized and a fourth underwent surgery. Veterinarians are giving the fourth owl a “hopeful” prognosis.

TWRA officials were not able to describe the types or extent of the owls’ injuries, but said there is evidence they were intentionally harmed using cruel methods.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is also assisting with the investigation, as are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

TWRA is asking anyone with information to call the TWRA Violation Hotline at 1-800-831-1174. No suspects or persons of interest have been identified yet, but anyone charged with harming the owls could face felony and misdemeanor charges.