SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) -
Sacramento Animal Control officers are trying to solve the mystery of a tethered hawk.
A city animal technician holds the hawk (Aug. 4, 2012).
Late Thursday night, officers found a Harris Hawk tied to a tree along the 7700 block of Stockton Boulevard. The discovery followed a call from a concerned citizen.
Gina Knepp, director of the city's Animal Care Services, said it’s a valuable hunting bird that’s been carefully trained. She said it has a federal ID band, but that calls to government officials have not yet been returned.
The hunting hawk is being cared for by Ricardo Gaitor, a city animal technician, who used to be a falconer as a youth in Mexico. He said the bird is in excellent condition and responds well to a handler.
Gaitor said finding an abandoned hunting bird is unheard of because of the time, effort and expense involved in owning one in California. The bird was complete with custom restraints and a hunting bell to track.
He said the bird can hunt a variety of prey, including quail, rabbit and pheasant.
Knepp said efforts will continue to track down the registered owner of the bird to determine what happened.
If the owner cannot be located, the bird would be available for adoption. Officials say valuable hunting hawk was perhaps abandoned..