MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Experts say a red-tailed hawk, which survived for days in the Twin Cities with an arrow in its knee before being euthanized, was likely intentionally shot.
The Star Tribune reports that officials at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota say that, based on the arrow’s path through the hawk’s knee, it appears the young bird was likely perched when it was shot from below.
Officials say they are unaware of anyone being held responsible for the hawk’s death.
The Raptor Center had been aware of the hawk since reports came in from concerned citizens around the Twin Cities late last month. On Dec. 5, Raptor Center officials found the hawk and took it in for an examination.
While the arrow had only pierced the hawk’s right leg, the bird of prey’s knee was damaged beyond repair, causing immense pain and making it unlikely that the bird would ever hunt again in the wild. Life in captivity would also be painful.
As such, officials decided to euthanize the hawk.
“While it is not the ideal ending we had hoped for, we can take solace in the fact that we prevented a seriously wounded hawk from a longer and more painful death,” the Raptor Center wrote on its Facebook page.
According to the Minnesota DNR, anyone who kills a red-tailed hawk in Minnesota is subject to a large fine.
The red-tailed hawk’s range covers all of Minnesota. In the fall, the birds generally start to migrate south.