The red-tailed hawk found skewered with a nail from a nail gun has made a full recovery and was released back in to the wilds of Golden Gate Park yesterday afternoon. But the majestic raptor's saga doesn't end there — animal control officers from the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control are now on the hunt for more clues in the anti-avian hate crime.
Although the AC&C team has zero leads other than the nail found poking out of the adolescent female hawk's cheek, authorities are confident they can find the culprit using techniques similar to tracing a bullet back to the weapon that shot it. Or as the Examiner puts it: "authorities plan to run the construction-equipment equivalent of a ballistics test on the nail recovered from the hawk’s skull to narrow the search for a culprit in the federal animal cruelty crime."
The Examiner doesn't elaborate on the tests this veterinary forensics unit will be running, but we imagine it involved going down to the professional tools aisle at Home Depot and popping off a few rounds of framing nails. Once they know which model of nail gun the nail came from, it's just a matter of going to following up at every single construction site using that piece of equipment. Easy detective work.
Assuming they find the culprit, he could be facing up to six months jail time and $15,000 fine under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act. To help this investigation along, anyone with tips can call the Animal Control emergency line at: (415) 554-9400.
Previously: Skewered Golden Gate Park Hawk Rescued, Recovering Nicely