Wisconsin hawk ready for release after recovery


October 30, 2014

In this Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 photo, Kathy KasaKaitas, a certified humane officer with Coulee Region Humane Society in Onalaska, Wisc., handles a red-tailed hawk at Humane Society headquarters. The hawk was struck by a car and trapped in its grill in July in the Chippewa Falls area. After over three months of rehab the hawk was released Wednesday, Oct. 29 near the site of the accident.

ONALASKA A red-tailed hawk has been rehabilitated and is ready to be released in the Chippewa Valley after it survived a 140-mile journey stuck in the grill of a vehicle.

A.J. the hawk was rescued in July after it collided with a vehicle north of Chippewa Falls. The driver initially thought the bird was dead and was unable to remove it from the grill.

The hawk had two broken bones in one wing, according to Kathy KasaKaitas, animal control protection and rescue supervisor at the Coulee Region Humane Society in Onalaska. Although raptors with badly broken wings are usually euthanized, A.J. was given a chance to recover after surviving such odds, she said. The hawk was taken to the humane society, where its broken wing was healed and strengthened through exercise.

A.J. is expected to be released Wednesday, the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1vfQqp5 ) reported. KasaKaitas will try to bring the hawk back to where it originally came from to rejoin its former surroundings and companion.

One hawk was reunited with its mate within minutes of its release several years ago, according to Mervin Broten, who helped care for A.J. at the Onalaska animal shelter.

The raptor was named after Green Bay Packer linebacker A.J. Hawk.


Associated Press