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Red-tailed hawk shooter remains unidentified

An injured Red Tailed Hawk revives medical care at Wildlife Images

Oregon State Police continue investigating the unlawful shooting of an internationally protected animal, a red-tailed hawk. Sergeant First Class Jeff Proulx said help from the public is the best way to find out who did this and their motivation.

"[Who] shot the bird, whether they were trying to injure the bird, kill the bird, or were they just being mischievous - we don't know, but it is a crime to do that and hopefully we can figure out who it is and that's why were asking for the public's help," Proulx said.

Wildlife Images clinic staff took x-rays as part of a Red-tailed hawk intake exam and found two bullets still inside its body. One bullet was near the neck and a second was found in the left wing. Both were removed successfully while the bird was under anesthesia.

Clinic staff continue treating the predator bird by administering antibiotics and pain relievers. According to staff, the hawk was awake and stable, but the damage from the gunshots and the anesthesia can be tough to recover from.

A Grants Pass family brought in the red-tailed hawk after their child had been told by a neighborhood friend that it had been in a carrier, injured for a few days.

The animal was brought in from near Elmer Nelson Lane in Grants Pass, but a location of the shooting remains unclear as in some cases birds can continue to fly a certain distance before the injuries take a hold and weakens the animal enough for human care.

The Red-tailed hawk is in stable condition following the removal of two bullets on Friday, February 15, 2019.

Records show another Red-tailed hawk arrived with a gunshot wound from Jackson County last month, that victim did not survive.

Anyone with information can call or text Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon at 1-800-850-0580 and refer to case number KTVL 03-05-19.

Depending on the case and the information is given, Crime Stoppers will pay a reward up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and filing of charges. Callers can remain anonymous. The reward is sponsored by Rogue Credit Union.

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