Endangered Hawaiian hawk bound for forever home at Honolulu Zoo

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An endangered Io (Hawaiian hawk) from Volcano that had suffered injuries from a shooting and received specialized medical and rehabilitative care from the Kapaau-based Hawaii Wildlife Center is tentatively scheduled to be transferred to the Honolulu Zoo in the coming days.

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An endangered Io (Hawaiian hawk) from Volcano that had suffered injuries from a shooting and received specialized medical and rehabilitative care from the Kapaau-based Hawaii Wildlife Center is tentatively scheduled to be transferred to the Honolulu Zoo in the coming days.

Because the hawk is a federally listed endangered species, the shooting is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement. The Io, which can only be found on Hawaii Island, has cultural significance and is regarded by many as an Aumakua.

The hawk was brought to the center at the end of January and her condition was assessed by staff members and HWC’s veterinary consultants. Although the trauma was not surgically reparable, staff continued to monitor the hawk and saw her behavior and condition continue to improve. Her feisty behavior earned her the nickname, “Hawaii’s Warrior Princess” among staff and community members involved with the rescue and recovery process.

“We are grateful to the community that rallied together to rescue this Io as well as for the partnerships that allowed HWC to find a forever home for her,” said the center’s President and Director Linda Elliott. “It is our hope that this Io will be an ambassador for native wildlife and help to inspire others to protect them for future generations.”

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Killing or injuring wildlife protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act is punishable by a maximum fine of up to $100,000 and/or one year imprisonment. Members of the public are encouraged to report any wildlife incidents to the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Individuals interested in helping to protect and care for this and other native Hawaiian species are encouraged to contact the Hawaii Wildlife Center, the state’s only native bird and bat hospital. More information can be found at hawaiiwildlifecenter.org.

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