Hurt to Healthy: A Hawk’s Tale

by Jack Banagis on September 28, 2015 No comments


This is a Red Tailed Hawk that came into New England Wildlife Center back in June. He came into the Center as a fledgling and was found near Franklin Park Zoo. He was suffering from multiple problems, including Rodenticide Toxicity (Rat Poisoning) and Lead Toxicosis (Lead Poisoning). Rat poisoning occurs upon ingestion of prey animals, such as mice who have already come into contact with the poison left out by home owners. His blood lead levels was 25 mg/dl, anything over 10 mg/dl is toxic. With these problems came severe weakness and an inability to perform many normal functions. It took our veterinary staff 2 weeks to clear up the rat poisoning and 2 additional weeks to clear out toxic levels of lead. His largest obstacle was regaining his ability to fly and hunt. He was subjected to daily exercise in our Avian Flight pen where our staff and interns had him do laps around the pen to observe his ability, which increased every day. In the picture with him on the ground, mouth open, he is very tired from the day’s exercise. After two months of rehab, he regained normal flight ability. He was then live prey tested, to confirm his hunting capabilities. He passed with flying colors, and over the weekend he was released back into the wild!

Jack BanagisHurt to Healthy: A Hawk’s Tale