Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tucson, Arizona: Rescue helps hawk hit by plane get his wings back


A red-tailed hawk on the brink of death after being hit by an airplane is getting ready to take to the skies again, thanks to a local animal rescue.

The bird was found badly injured on the tarmac of Tucson International Airport after a pilot called in to the tower to let them know he’d hit it.

“Mark Gomez and his rescue team who work with the airport went out and found him on the runway,” said Janet Miller of Wildlife Rehabilitation in northwest Tucson. “When he first came in, basically he was just laying there. He wasn't able to stand because of the trauma.”

Miller and her team have nursed the bird back to health during the past two months. They named him "Sully," after the "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot.

His remarkable recovery has been a bright spot in a particularly devastating year.

Last month, a fire broke out at Miller’s facility. A large portion of the rescue was destroyed, and dozens of birds died in the blaze. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

“You know you can't be working closely with animals like that and not really feel a special sorrow,” said Miller.

Despite the devastating loss, Miller is determined to rehabilitate the birds still in her care.

As for Sully, his time at the facility will soon come to an end. The rescue team is performing final test flights to make sure he is fully recovered before releasing him into the wild.

“It’s always exciting to know that something has a chance again in the wild,” said Miller.  “They are up against a lot of things in the environment that weren't there before. This is to give them that second chance so they can be in the wild where they belong.”

Miller is in the very early stages of rebuilding the facility, which she founded decades ago. For more information on how you can help, click here. 

Original article can be found here:

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