A disturbing trend has emerged in the East Bay as a wildlife hospital has reported a sharp rise in animals and birds being shot.
The Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital in Walnut Creek says it treated 30 animals for gunshot wounds this year, more than double the total from last year. Veterinarians didn't have a clear explanation for the spike, but a couple of theories are people consider the animals a nuisance or are just plain using them for target practice.
The wildlife center has treated crows, ravens and turkey vultures among the wounded birds shot with BBs or pellets. Vet Allison Daugherty treated an injured red-tailed hawk that had been shot in the wing.
"Most of the swelling has really improved since she has been here," Daugherty said. "In the month of November, we had seven shot animals, and typically in a year, we get around 10."
Hospital Manager Aireo Shipman said most of the shootings appear deliberate, and that angers her.
"We immediately report in to the California Fish and Wildlife and the federal officials, and they will contact the appropriate authority," Shipman said.
Earlier this year, a bobcat was brought in from the Livermore area. It had been shot and suffered severe injuries. Wildlife center officials said despite their care, most of the animals don’t survive.
"The ultimate goal is to put them back in the wild," Shipman said.