Monday, September 28, 2015

Some People Are Just Mean!

We have all met someone who fits that description. 

Some people might be rude and pushy to other humans, but when someone directs their venom at animals, they are wrong inside and out.  It seems to sometimes be a judgment call on the worth of life. 

A Mississippi Kite recovering from a gunshot wound in our hospital (photo: Joe Hoffmann)

Recently, a group of kids chose to kick an injured hawk around like a soccer ball and a kind young man stood up and stopped them. Then, with the help of his parents, the young man delivered the bird to the World Bird Sanctuary.  Some people are heroes and some we should call ignorant no matter what the age. 

There are so many cases of animal cruelty that we hear of or that we experience, but conversely there are a great majority of cases of people who go out of their way to help animals. 

It is illegal to harm or harass any migratory bird according to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  The Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act adds more restrictions and penalties if someone was to injure or kill a Bald or Golden Eagle.   Many birds are targeted because of misconceptions about eagles or owls killing livestock or flying away carrying someone’s pet.  These of course are myths and legends; not fact.

Raptors might be seen eating a dead animal, but something else killed it and the bird of prey is just scavenging an easy meal.  As far as a threat to your domestic pets, birds of prey usually hunt the smallest and easiest prey.  Cats kill millions of songbirds and other wildlife each year and feral dogs have overtaken many wild areas.  It is more likely your pet might be killed by a fox, coyote, raccoon, bobcat, or a long list of possible culprits. 

This week we received a hawk from the St. Louis area that was shot by someone because they had a small dog.  This was a juvenile hawk that was just hatched in the spring and was starting to hunt. It was only nearby, but these people felt this was their solution. It is wrong, as well as illegal. 

A few months ago we received two Mississippi Kites from the Affton, MO, area that were shot.  They primarily eat large insects, but the person who shot them thought they might eat the birds in their yard. No matter what someone’s excuse is, shooting these raptors is pure ignorance. 

One of the reasons World Bird Sanctuary is in existence is to help change the minds of people about birds and wildlife.  We have naturalists available from 8 to 5 almost every day of the year that can answer any question anyone may have.  The information almost always helps people learn the correct facts about them, and helps dispel myths and ignorance.  Please give us a visit.

Submitted by Joe Hoffmann, World Bird Sanctuary Hospital Manager

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