Dodging darts: Dove survives shot through the neck
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - UPDATE: 9OYS viewer Patrick O'Leary was able to catch the dove in his backyard. It is now getting the medical attention it needs. Veterinarians say it is expected to survive.
In this northwest side neighborhood off of La Canada and Sunset, doves are everywhere.
"They line the wires out here," said Becky Walsh.
But now neighbors say someone is shooting them with darts from a blow dart gun, something Arizona Game and Fish says is a violation. 9OYS viewer Patrick O'Leary snapped the photo of a wounded dove in his backyard. He sent it in to us.
"Right through the bird, you can see it in the back of the head, sticking out a ways," said Walsh.
And get this, the bird is still alive, at least the last time the neighbors saw it. It can still fly and has been able to eat. 9OYS took the unbelievable photo to Tucson's Wildlife Rehab Center.
"This is like a one in ten thousands occurance that it missed all vital organs," said veterinarian Jack Quick.
But Quick says if the bird doesn't get medical attention soon, it won't make it.
"It's just like a human," said Quick. "Any type of stick or spear through any body part can not be comfortable."
"It's hard to see something that still living that's in agony," said Walsh.
9OYS went on a wild bird chase of our own today, but we were unable to spot it. Neighbors now say they too will be on the lookout and not just for the dove.
"Somebody's out shooting darts, the dart could go off something and hit somebody too, and you don't want that," said Walsh.
Arizona Game and Fish says it's not just the darts that are illegal. Whoever did this, also shot the bird in a residential area. That too not allowed. A representative with their Operation Game Thief says it's hard to enforce these rules though. So if you see someone in the act, take down as much information and call Game and Fish at 1-800-352-0700.
By the way, if you spot that dove, call the Tucson Wildlife Rehab Center at 520-290-9453. They could try to catch it to get it the medical attention it needs.