In spite of efforts of Stettler animal lover Kami Ritz, hawk dubbed ‘Hero’ couldn’t be saved

Hero likely hit by car and slowly starved to death, says wildlife rehabilitator

  • Aug. 3, 2018 6:30 a.m.

Kami Ritz with Hero the hawk before she takes him to Medicine River Wildlife Centre. (Contributed photo)

By Emily Jaycox

For the Stettler Independent

When Stettler resident Kami Ritz saw a Red Tailed Hawk in distress near Buffalo Lake on July 26, she rushed to its aid.

Ritz, a self-proclaimed animal lover and hobby wildlife photographer, and her friend Patty Risler were out for a drive that evening when they spotted the bird in the ditch.

“Considering he didn’t fly right away I got concerned so I pulled over and walked over to him,” said Ritz in an email interview July 31.

“He was alert and watching me but not moving.”

A member of the Buffalo Lake Naturalists, Ritz knew about the Medicine River Wildlife Centre (MRWC) in Spruce View and called them right away.

Soon Ritz was in contact with Judy Boyd, fostering researcher at MRWC.

Boyd asked Ritz a checklist of questions to determine if the bird did indeed need help and then told Ritz she was on her way.

“I was amazed as she was in Red Deer but didn’t hesitate at all.”

Carol Kelly, wildlife rehabilitator at MRWC, was able to give Ritz instructions over the phone on the best way to get the hawk into a carrier that Ritz got from friends.

Boyd agreed to meet Ritz in Alix for the exchange.

“[We] hit the road with our little-feathered traveller hoping for the best,” said Ritz.

“We decided to name him Hero as he really did bring out the hero in a lot of people that day.”

Hero was given medicine and checked over as soon as Boyd arrived, and then taken to MRWC.

“She promised they would do all they could and I knew they would,” said Ritz.

“The fact she drove all that way at the drop of a hat shows how committed they are to saving wildlife.”

Hero was fed every half hour with a feeding tube in an attempt to rehydrate him, but unfortunately, he was “too far gone” by the time he was found, said Kelly.

Despite best efforts, Hero died before 24 hours had passed, according to Kelly.

“He was in wretched shape,” she said.

Because Hero had no external injuries, the best-educated guess is he was hit by a car, and concussed and unable to hunt, had been slowly starving to death, says Kelly.

Most of the injuries the wildlife centre sees are caused by human activity, says Kelly.

“We owe them a debt to try,” she said.

“If you do hit an animal, don’t just walk away, there is somebody here to help.”

 

Hero is injured and can’t move. Kami Ritz found him in the ditch along the road in Stettler County. (Contributed photo)

Hero is injured and can’t move. Kami Ritz found him in the ditch along the road in Stettler County. (Contributed photo)

Judy Boyd, fostering researcher from Medicine River Wildlife Centre left Red Deer right after receiving the call about the injured hawk. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read