CRIME

California Quail hanging onto life after being shot with a blowgun

Feb 21, 2022, 5:48 PM | Updated: Feb 22, 2022, 12:00 pm
This California Quail was recently discovered having been shot with a blowgun. Officials with the W...
This California Quail was recently discovered having been shot with a blowgun. Officials with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah say its lucky to be alive. Photo credit: Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah (WRCNU) received an injured California Quail on Sunday that had been shot with a blowgun.

California Quail harmed

In a Facebook posting the center wrote, “Yesterday, we received this small female California Quail with the worst kind of human impact. She was purposefully shot with a blowgun and how she survived (so far) is truly hard to fathom.”

The center says that the dart’s shaft was more than 3 inches long. And most, if not all of it, was in her body from her body to her neck.

The WRCNU says quail is a protected native species in the United States. Hunters must have a current Upland Game license to hunt them. Additionally, the WRCNU says that quail can only be hunted during the open season for upland game, which ended Dec. 31, 2021.

Flighting for life

Specialists with the WRCNU expected the trauma and stress of removing the dart to kill the bird. However, they said at the time of their social media post, the bird was still alive.

“She is alive and well as of this post and is currently being treated for infection and pain as we watch and wait and hope for the best,” the Facebook post said. “She is a very good eater and we hope this ends with a happy conclusion.”

WRCNU officials say the bird was poached in a residential area after the season had come to a close. Additionally, all are deemed to be illegal acts.

WRCNU officials would like to remind all citizens that if you see a suspicious activity, do not hesitate to call the Utah poaching hotline.

Four ways to report poaching:

  • Call the UTiP hotline at 1-800-662-3337
  • Submit a tip through the DWR Law Enforcement app
  • Send a text to 847411
  • Submit a tip online (contact with an officer may be more limited than with the other options)

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California Quail hanging onto life after being shot with a blowgun