Illegally captured hawks set free
Two hawks illegally captured in Mirando City have now been set free.
The release took the cooperation from dozens of agencies and countless hours.
The hawks had an amazing journey.
Not only were they found only a month from being captured but they were found several states away.
Carefully unwrapped wing by wing, two Harris hawks now moments away from experiencing the freedom they almost lost.
“They’re actually going to be released in the same area as they were captured. That’s unusual.”
The hawks were illegally captured in Mirando City over two months ago and thanks to a tip to Texas Parks and Wildlife were amazingly traced back to North Carolina.
“I in turn contracted our North Carolina special agent who in turn knocked on the violated door and got a confession,” says Mark Johnson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Carolina Rapture Center quickly stepped in to help in the month long process to rehabilitate the animals.
Then they were all packed up and ready to go and the birds were headed to Texas.
I was at work by 4 am this morning eastern standard time,” says Amber Rosintoski of Carolina Raptor Center.
“It's been exciting worrying about if we were going to make the planes because of the weather.”
It's an operation that's a race against daylight.
“As it gets darker they get more nervous. We wanted to make sure to get them out with enough time to find somewhere they can go hide.”
“It’s quite an experience, something I’ve never seen before.”
As most Texas tales come to an end, both took flight into the sunset.
Only this time the lives of these young birds have just begun.
“It's one for the good guy--Texas Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and then our crimestoppers. It really makes you glad about what you'rer paid to do,” says David A. Murray of Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The case of the captured birds will now be presented to the U.S. attorney and because they were carried across state lines, punishment can be substantial.
The federal violation is a class a misdemeanor and can have up to a 100-thousand dollar fine and a year in prison.