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Hawk shot with arrow euthanized at U of M Raptor Center

The red-tailed hawk, which was shot through its leg with an arrow, was spotted on Nov. 30 and captured on Dec. 5. University of Minnesota Raptor Center

ST. PAUL - The University of Minnesota Raptor Center last week euthanized a red-tailed hawk that had appeared in a widely shared Facebook photo with an arrow through its leg.

The Raptor Center was first alerted to the hawk’s plight on Nov. 30, but its volunteers were initially unable to catch the wounded bird where it was spotted in Brooklyn Center. After a photo of the hawk was posted to the Raptor Center Facebook page and shared widely, a second tip was called in on Dec. 5 and the hawk was captured.

The St. Paul-based Raptor Center initially posted that it was optimistic that the bird could be saved because the arrow had only pierced its leg, but X-rays revealed irreparable damage.

“The right knee was damaged beyond repair and was causing immense pain,” the Raptor Center wrote in a Facebook post. “The hawk would never be able to hunt for itself or return to the wild, and could not remain in captivity without considerable lifelong pain and suffering. For these reasons, we made the decision to provide humane euthanasia.”

The Raptor Center thanked the Facebook users who helped track down the bird and assured them that despite the sad outcome, “we prevented a seriously wounded hawk from a longer and more painful death.”