Sandhill crane dies after being shot in neck with nail gun

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(Justin Matthews/ Facebook)

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) – Officials say a young sandhill crane has died after being shot in the neck with a nail gun.

Justin Matthews of Matthews Wildlife Rescue found the injured bird earlier this week and took it to the Save Our Seabirds sanctuary in Sarasota.

Chief executive David Pilston calls the act “just plain evil.” Pilston tells the Herald-Tribune the bird was shot with the kind of “nail gun you have to pull back a safety mechanism.”

Dr. Don Swerida says he removed a 4-inch-long, eight-penny nail that missed the bird’s trachea and spinal cord. After surgery, Swerida says the bird showed signs of improvement, but it died Tuesday night.

Matthews says people have pledged contributions of $1,500 toward a reward for anyone providing information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

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