Escaped Hawk's Big Adventure Includes 279 Mile Trip To Tulsa Area

Tuesday, March 27th 2012, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

Little Rock's Tucson the hawk has had quite the big adventure. The Harris hawk flew away from the Little Rock Zoo on February 21, 2012, after a loud noise startled him.

"Here at the zoo, he's part of the Wild Wonders Animal Show," said Little Rock Zoo spokesperson Susan Altrui.

Tuscon was "free-flying" over the audience when the sound startled him, and he took off.

Zoo officials had hoped Tucson would get hungry and come home. Five weeks later, he is home -- but not before stopping by the Wild Heart Ranch and a short side trip to Bartlesville.

"Apparently he landed on somebody's property in Oklahoma, just out of Tulsa," Altrui said. "The landowner was surprised he could walk right up to it and thought it was injured."

That's how Tuscon found his way to the Wild Heart Ranch rehab in the Claremore area.

"When the falconer came, he held out his arm with the glove on it, and Tuscon jumped right on his arm," said Altrui.

Oklahoma Falconers' Association President Ryan VanZant says he got a call from Wild Heart Ranch on March 17 that Tucson was at their facility. The Harris hawk was wearing an anklet with an identification number.

VanZant took Tucson home to Bartlesville while he researched where the hawk could be from. He posted a notice on a web site, and an Arkansas falconer made the link and contacted the zoo.

Altrui says Tucson appears to be in good health after his 279 mile long journey.