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MailTribune.com
  • A wing and a prayer

    Hawk's life hangs in balance as police seek shooter
  • State and local police are investigating the possible shooting of a hawk that was found bleeding from the wing in a west Medford yard Tuesday afternoon.
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  • State and local police are investigating the possible shooting of a hawk that was found bleeding from the wing in a west Medford yard Tuesday afternoon.
    Neighbors on Cherry Street reported hearing shots fired in the area in the early evening. Residents then saw a hawk struggling in a tall cedar tree in the 600 block of Cherry Street.
    The hawk fell from the tree and landed in a yard. It was bleeding from one wing, but was alive when police arrived.
    Pam Pierce lives in the area and saw the hawk struggling for its life after the apparent shooting.
    "I saw it clinging to a branch and then suddenly it just fell," she said. "I feel so bad for that hawk."
    Medford police officers canvassed the neighborhood looking for anyone who saw something suspicious.
    Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said some neighbors reported seeing two young men with a rifle of some kind in the area. Others said they heard shots that sounded larger than a pellet gun, Budreau said.
    "I am just going to assume someone shot the bird, because why would it just be sitting on the ground like that?" Budreau said.
    Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife assistant district biologist Daniel Ethridge was called to the neighborhood to inspect the hawk. He donned thick leather gloves for protection before loading the bird into a cage.
    The hawk will be examined by wildlife and police officers. The prospects don't look good for the bird, however.
    "It's injured in a bad spot near the top of the wing," Ethridge said. "It's in a spot that may not be salvageable."
    If the hawk's wing can be repaired, the bird will be released into the wild. If not, ODFW will look into giving the bird to a wildlife sanctuary, but those places sometimes have little room for new animals.
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