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Summer 2018 Wofford Today
Hawk

Hawk returns to campus after rehabilitation

Wofford's preventative maintenance supervisor releases once-injured bird back into the wild

At Wofford College it usually is all about the Terriers, but on March 26 it was all about a hawk.

In August 2014 Ken Pettit, preventive maintenance supervisor with the campus physical plant, received a call about an injured red-tailed hawk perched on a rocking chair on a porch in The Village. Pettit grabbed the bird – by her feet, equipped with razor-sharp talons – and saw a bone protruding from her wing. After a call to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Pettit took the hawk to Health Point Veterinary Clinic in Duncan, S.C., where a vet specializing in avian care treated the bird.

Pettit, then, transported the hawk to the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville, N.C., near Charlotte, for more treatment and rehabilitation.

On Thursday, March 26, Pettit went back to Charlotte for the bird and returned her home — to Wofford’s campus. A number of faculty, students and staff were on hand in front of Main Building as Pettit cradled the hawk before gently lifting her out of his arms so she could majestically take flight into a nearby tree. She remained perched there for a while — catching her bearings and seemingly posing for photos and video from visiting news media — before flying away.

This is just one of many red-tailed hawks and other similar creatures who share the campus with Wofford’s students, faculty and staff.

To read more about how Ken Pettit came to rescue this red-tailed hawk, see this article in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal by Jenny Arnold: http://www.goupstate.com/article/20140814/ARTICLES/140819784/0/search?p=all&tc=pgall