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Wildlife notes: Baby falcon soars, fawn shot

From the annals of Pennsylvania wildlife, two (wo)man-meets-nature stories with very different endings.

From the annals of Pennsylvania wildlife, two (wo)man-meets-nature stories with very different endings.

One drama unfolded today on a ledge high atop the Rachel Carson state office building in Harrisburg where five baby peregrine falcons were ready to fledge. A young female falcon (not the one pictured here) boldly decided to take the first flight, but ended up crash landing nearby, somewhere amid the traffic of downtown Harrisburg and the busy railroad yards below. Eagle-eyed rescuers, who are keeping round-the-clock vigil on the ledge, scooped her up and took her to a wildlife rehab facility where a vet checked her over for possible leg injuries. Late today she was pronounced healthy and expected to be released tonight or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, out west in Beaver County a couple rescued an 8-pound fawn, badly injured by a dog and nursed her back to health.

Then they called a Pennsylvania Game Commission officer for help. According to local news reports the officer took the healthy fawn (not the one pictured here) and shot it, saying the couple violated state law by taking wildlife. Sadly, every spring the same story is repeated in various places in Pennsylvania: a Good Samaritan takes in an orphan or injured fawn and the Game Commission employs its "all kill" policy.

The couple even volunteered to drive the fawn to a wildlife rehabilitator but the officer said no. He claimed the officers evaluate each animal found on a case by case basis. I can't think of a case in the almost nine years I've lived in Pennsylvania where the Game Commission responded to a call for an orphan or injured fawn that had a happy ending. Perhaps someone can prove me wrong.