Last Saturday morning, on my way to a local park to play flag football, I spotted a wounded hawk in the middle of I-405.
He was in between the carpool and fast lanes directly on the white line. As cars would fly by him at 60-70 mph, he would flap his wings to keep himself upright. I literally cringed as I passed him.
When I was growing up, my Dad taught me to stop and help people on the side of the road. He taught me that helping people is always the right thing to do.
While this is a very different situation, the exact same thoughts and behavior kicked in. I decided that I couldn't just leave him to die hurt and confused in the middle of the freeway.
I looped back around at the next exit, and pulled over on the shoulder near him. All that I had to grab him with, was an extra T-Shirt. I waited for a break in the traffic and ran out to pick him up. He seemed to be in pretty bad shape, and didn't peck or claw me. I set him gently in the back of my Volvo wagon, and closed the hatch.
Then I thought now what?
I called PAWS a local animal shelter that also takes injured wildlife, and asked them what to do. They said bring him in ASAP. So with one eye on the road, and another on my cargo area, I raced to PAWS.
Upon arrival I was informed that many people had called about the downed Red Tail Hawk, but that they couldn't get anyone out there to pick him up.
Paws informed me that they will let me know what happens to him, and I will update this post with that info as it becomes available.
After telling many people this story, a majority of them tell me why I shouldn't have done it, or why they wouldn't have. I find this reaction fascinating, and in some cases understandable.
If I had it to do over again, I would do the exact same thing.