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Thursday
Oct202011

Hawk with Nail in Head Is Eating, Rescue Group Says

Tom Brakefield/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Rescuers searching the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco for a red-tailed hawk with a nail in its head are heartened by pictures showing that the hawk is eating.

The injured hawk was seen on Wednesday eating a gopher, said Rebecca Dmytryk, director of WildRescue, the Monterey-based group leading the effort to save the bird. Rescuers had spotted the raptor a day earlier killing and trying to eat a squirrel.

"Thank goodness he's eating, but the ongoing stress can compromise his immune system," said Dmytryk. WildRescue has been trying to find the hawk since a Bay Area wildlife group notified rescuers about the nail condition on Sunday.

They believe someone shot the hawk with a nail gun, probably intentionally, and have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter. "Let's get this sucker," Dmytryk said.

Rescuers plan to try to capture the bird again Friday, hoping he's hungry again by then. "The hungrier the animal is, the easier to get it to come in for bait," Dmytryk said. The group uses a special trap rather than nets, which could harm the hawk.

Sympathizers moved by the hawk's plight are sending in photos showing the bird on apartment railings and at other area spots which will help rescuers build a strategy for finding the injured bird, Dmytryk said. "People have really shown concern and interest -- the pictures that are coming in really help us," she said. Contributions from the public enabled WildRescue to up its reward, she added.

If the hawk is captured, it will be taken to the Peninsula Humane Society wildlife center to be treated. Rescuers worry the injury could make the bird vulnerable to a fungal infection of the lungs.

The red-tailed hawk is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio