MYAKKA CITY (FOX 13) - A sandhill crane is recovering at Wildlife Inc. after being given a second chance at life.
Rescuers brought the crane in Tuesday night after it was spotted by a Manatee County deputy in Myakka City.
For months there had been calls of a crane with an arrow sticking out of it. Over time, concern grew for the bird.
"The arrow sticking out like that could have been caught on a branch or snarled," said Ed Straight. "You never know if it's hit any kind of vital spot or not."
Ed Straight, with Wildlife Inc., said the arrow barely missed the crane's vital organs. Surgery to remove the arrow was a success, but one thought remains in Straight's mind.
"Disgusting that people would use a bird like that that. Does no harm to anybody. A very friendly bird," he said.
The person responsible could face serious fines or penalties. Sandhill cranes are protected by federal law under the Migratory Bird Act.
"Most hunters follow the rules and they have respect for wildlife and a true hunter would not do something like this. This is the action of somebody that has all disregard for nature to shoot a bird like this with an arrow," said Straight.
In just a few days the crane will be released back to the wild, but there's still concern that whoever did this will strike again.
"Somebody like this, who knows what they would do next," said Straight.
The FWC asks anyone with information about who shot the bird to contact the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.