A peregrine falcon that was likely shot by a pellet gun near the Watsonville Airport on Thanksgiving Day was euthanized Thursday because of severe injuries from the shooting, a spokeswoman for a local wildlife organization said.
The male falcon suffered two fractures in his shoulder after he was found shot in a residential area not far from the airport that evening, according to Rebecca Dmytryk of the animal aid group WildRescue.
The bird of prey was taken for treatment to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley in San Jose, Dmytryk said.
A week later, the organization decided to euthanize the bird that had suffered an entry wound in its chest and an exit wound in its back, probably from a pellet gun, Dmytryk said.
The state Department of Fish and Game is leading an investigation into the bird shooting, according to Dmytryk.
WildRescue has been able to offer a $1,000 reward for information about the shooting of the falcon.
The peregrine falcon was once on the federal list of endangered and threatened species, but was removed in 1999, according to the website of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.