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Hawk stuck to glue trap released after a year of rehab

Posted at 5:30 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 17:30:09-04

One year and three days ago, Justin Matthews with Matthew's Wildlife Rescue responded to a call of a hawk stuck to a glue trap. 

The trap is used to catch unwanted rodents and nuisance wildlife -- but oftentimes, they will catch Florida wildlife. 

Matthews responded to a Red Shouldered Hawk in 2015, after a landscaping company found the injured bird stuck to the glue-like substance. 

"You can't even get this off," he said, while trying to tear a piece of paper from the sticky pad. 

Matthews pointed out a number of dead lizards on the traps -- and, says that what the hawk was likely chasing after being getting stuck too. 

"It's cruel, they die a slow death," said Matthews.

After Matthews rescued the bird he took it to Save our Seabirds, a non-profit rescue group in Sarasota. 

The mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured wild birds in the bay area. 

Dana Leworthy has helped rescue the hawk at the hospital they have on site, "this was basically tar stuck to its feathers."

Leworthy and her staff had to cut the feathers off the hawk's wing, making it unable to fly.

So for the past year, Save our Seabirds has helped rehabilitate the bird until its feathers were fully back. 

Matthew's posted on his Facebook page, "They (hawks) molt once a year, so he had to stay at Save our Seabirds until he molted."

On Thursday, the staff was able to re-release the bird back into nature. 

"This is why we do it," said Matthews, "so we can watch this hawk fly away free."

The glue traps aren't illegal in Florida, and that's why Matthews has started a change. org petition where he is trying to have them banned. 

You can learn more here.