Injured hawk found in NJ is getting help

An injured bird showed up behind a dumpster outside an EMS facility in Camden on March 15, 2011.

March 16, 2011 3:08:19 PM PDT
A local animal rescue group has come to the aid of an injured hawk found in New Jersey.

Right now, the injured hawk is at a Bucks County animal refuge. The young bird has some broken bones which they will tend to this afternoon.

The hawk is getting help thanks to Action News viewers, one in particular, who saw our story at 11:00 on Tuesday and called with an offer to help.

It was shortly after midnight when James Wright arrived in Camden, cage in hand, to help the injured hawk discovered near a dumpster. The bird was found when an EMT went to dump the trash late yesterday.

The bird couldn't fly and appeared to have an injured leg and wing. Wright, a volunteer with a Bucks County animal rescue group, has been helping injured birds his entire life.

"Basically, since I was a kid, if there was a pigeon or a robin or anything that was hurt and needed nursing I would do that," Wright said.

When EMTs discovered the injured hawk yesterday, they called animal rescue groups around the region with no luck. Camden animal control officers were laid off in January because of budget cuts, though there is an 24/7 service available in the city.

However, the EMTs called Action News. Wright saw the story on Action News at 11 and we were there when he rescued the bird.

Wright dropped the injured hawk off at a refuge called the AARK in Chalfont, Bucks County. That's where Mary Jane Stretch got to work fixing a fractured wing and did what she could to ease its pain.

"We gave it medication to help with concussion to reduce swelling to head and body," she said.

AARK is a non-profit that takes in about 3,000 birds and 2,000 mammals every year and then either raises or rehabilitates them and then sends them back out into their natural habitat.

"It is alert. It is really annoyed, which is good because if they are fighting you then they have some energy here and that gives them a better chance of surviving," Mary said.

AARK offers a 24-hour drop off clinic, and while Wright followed the right protocol, the problem is - it's against federal law to keep the hawk in Pennsylvania.

So, the bird was quickly taken back to its home state of New Jersey. The hawk is now at the Mercer County Wildlife Center in Lambertville where it will stay until it is healed.