State wildlife officials are investigating the Tuesday shooting of an osprey, a protected bird in Monroe County.
An unidentified man shot and wounded the osprey at the city’s newly opened Truman Waterfront Park, at Southard Street in Old Town.
Key West police received the report at 11:15 a.m. that a man with a BB gun had admitted shooting the bird near the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham museum, said police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.
“We have treated the bird for trauma and stopped the bleeding,” the Key West Wildlife Center posted on Facebook at about 12: 25 p.m. “We are transporting to Marathon Veterinary hospital now for x-rays and possible surgery.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is handling the case, Crean said.
The bird was seriously injured, having suffered a fractured wing near its rib
“The poor bird’s in pretty rough shape,” said Peggy Coontz, animal care director at the center. She said the center’s executive director, Tom Sweets, was on the scene.
“He grabbed the bird and ran straight to the clinic,” she said.
“I actually got a call from someone down at the waterfront,” Sweets said. “They said there was an osprey with a broken wing so I took off down there. The bird was flopping around on the concrete right by the Ingham. He was bleeding pretty badly. I wanted to get him out of there. The right wing had a pretty bad injury right at the tip of the wing. It’s going to need some extensive surgery.”
Sweets said even a BB gun can kill such a bird.
“If it gets the right spot it could definitely do lethal damage,” he said.
An FWC spokesman didn’t immediately return a phone call.
The osprey is protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act and also as a State Species of Special Concern, in Monroe County only, by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule, according to FWC.
This report will be updated when more information is available.