Volunteers in shock after bird found with gunshot wounds
VOLUNTEERS from WIRES Northern Rivers made a rare and "shocking discovery" this week when a young grey goshawk was shot at close range with three lead pellets.
The hawk's leg was badly broken by the gunshot wounds.
Despite immediate care by vets in Casino and emergency treatment at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in Queensland, she was unable to be saved.
WIRES Northern Rivers said the fracture was three to four weeks old and would have partially healed and then re-broken every time the bird moved.
"The young raptor was probably just over one year old and still sharpening her hunting skills," a spokesperson said.
"She would have suffered great pain during those few weeks.
"All native birds are protected in NSW by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
"Intentionally harming wildlife is against the law.
"Whether this was an attempt to protect domestic animals or an intentional act of cruelty, it is good to remember that animals are only following their instincts and taking advantage of the opportunities available to them, just as we all do.
"If you keep domestic animals, such as chickens for example, protect them by providing adequate shelter from wild predators."
WIRES is a registered charity, not a government service, and relies heavily on donations from the general public.
For more information phone the 24-hour hotline on 6628 1898 or visit www.wiresnr.org/Helping.html.