Despite life-saving efforts, injured hawk euthanized at Raptor Center

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Photo credit The Raptor Center

A red-tailed hawk spotted in the Twin Cities with an arrow lodged in one of its legs has died despite efforts to save its life.

The hawk was first reported on Nov. 30, and it continued to fly with the arrow in its leg. It was finally captured Wednesday but the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center couldn't save it.

Someone likely intentionally shot the federally protected bird, Raptor Center Executive Director Julia Ponder told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"It appears based on the path of the arrow through the body that the bird was likely perched and shot from below," she said. 

Center officials said they couldn't repair the damage to the hawk's right leg, so it was euthanized. The bird would never have been able to hunt for itself if released and would have suffered constant pain if kept in captivity, according to the center.

"While it is not the ideal ending we had hoped for, we can take solace in the fact that we prevented a seriously wounded hawk from a longer and more painful death," the center said in a statement.

Red-tailed hawks and other migratory birds are protected under federal wildlife laws. The center was not aware of anyone being held responsible for the bird's death.

The red-tailed hawk's geographic range is extensive, spanning from Panama and parts of the Caribbean north to Alaska.