TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A conservation officer rescued a hawk after it became stuck in a picnic table at a New York State park earlier this month.
The incident occurred on April 4 at Lakeside State Park, which is located about 20 miles west of Rochester on Lake Ontario.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) said the red-tailed hawk had its leg caught between two of the table’s slates, and likely got stuck after slipping from its perch.
When NYSDEC Officer Vernon Fonda turned up, the animal appeared agitated.
“The hawk has talons instead of feet. Once it got stuck, without feet, it wasn’t able to walk itself back out,” Fonda told a local newspaper.
Fonda told the hawk to “stay cool,” and was able to free the bird, check it for injuries and release it back into the wild.
“Hawks actually are not very aggressive when it comes to people,” Fonda said. “Most of the time they just fly away. I think he realized he was stuck.”
“I think he was keeping an eye on me as I approached and assessed the situation, but I think he could see that I was trying to help, not hurt him,” he added.