A group of wildlife volunteers hope to convince state officials to allow a disabled turkey vulture to remain at an Arizona City bird sanctuary he has come to know as home.
Arizona Game and Fish Department officials next week plan to confiscate the bird, which was hit by a car in October.
Unable to fly, the bird was hobbling near Arizona 287 when it was found by Pinal Wildlife Rescue volunteers.
“The wing was crooked,” said Betsy Lagos of Pinal Wildlife Rescue.
Each year, dozens of injured birds, mostly owls and hawks, are brought to the PWR facility in Arizona City. Most recover and are released back into the wild within a few months. Last year alone, the organization rehabilitated and released 45 birds.
But sometimes, an animal or bird is found that cannot be released. The turkey vulture found in October is one of those cases. His wing did not heal properly and the bird is now permanently disabled with little chance of surviving if released into the wild, according to Lagos.
“But other than the wing injury the bird is happy and healthy,” Lagos said.
PWR is the only fully functioning wildlife rehabilitation organization in Pinal County. It is licensed for wildlife rehabilitation and education with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.