With dozens of onlookers watching in equal parts excitement and amazement, Animal Health Field Supervisor Arthur Baker released a rescued Red-Tailed Hawk back into its native habitat- a front yard along Ward Parkway.
Suffering from head trauma and an injured wing, Baker rescued the then-injured hawk in mid-July and took it to Lakeside Nature Center where it made a full recovery. With an anxious crowd watching, Baker opened the box used to transport the hawk and, like everyone else, waited to see what would happen next.
“Opening that box was quite amazing,” Baker said. “To see that hawk jump right out and spread its wings, it looked very, very beautiful.”
Elaine Scatizzi and her husband Tom found the injured hawk in their front yard. She called the city for help and said KCMO staffers were “very accommodating” and easy to work with. She was especially impressed with Baker and other animal health officers.
“Animal Health was awesome,” Scatizzi said. “I don’t know how many birds like this they deal with, but they handled it beautifully and were marvelously gentle with it.”
For Baker and his animal health colleagues, it was all in a day’s work. About one-fourth of the calls Animal Health and Public Safety officers handle yearly involve non-domestic animals like hawks and raccoons.
“Just to be a small part of this story, a story with a happy ending, really made me feel good,” Baker said.