Police say they are searching for an unknown suspect who shot a white egret with a bow and arrow.
According to a press release, Animal Services Officer Ben Bundrick responded to the Monday, Feb. 11, call at 695 Belvedere Drive to find a great egret hobbling from yard to yard. Officer Budrick caught the bird, which was unable to fly due to a target arrow in its back, and transported it immediately to Beaumont West Animal Care.
Veterinarian Dr. John Falgout removed the arrow but was unable to save the ailing avian, saying he was forced to euthanize the bird on Monday due to a broken leg.
Falgout went on to say residents called his office and informed him the bird had been suffering with the protruding arrow for a number of days.
"Someone said they actually saw this bird about four days ago on Thomas Road with the arrow through it already," he said. "It had made its way from Thomas Road to where they found it on Belvedere. So she was trying to get around."
The trajectory of the arrow was just perfect to keep the bird alive, Falgout said, and the bird likely broke its leg some time after it was shot.
"The way this arrow happened to hit this bird, it just didn't hit anything vital. It's amazing. It actually pierced right through the thigh muscle and then through the breast and hit it's keel bone. And so It didn't hit anything vital and that's why it didn't kill the bird immediately. But I don't think the arrow is what broke the leg. Probably somewhere after she was hit was when the leg broke."
Great egrets are protected under Chapter 64 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code and title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Anyone with information about the culprit is encouraged to contact Animal Services at 838-3304. Had it not been for the broken leg, Falgout said the egret might have survived. "Really because of the leg, we had to euthanize it," he said.