Westford Animal Control Officer Danny Hurd examines a Cooper's Hawk discovered on Saw Mill Drive. COURTESY PHOTO

Town’s New Animal Control Officer Goes Extra Mile to Save Cooper’s Hawk

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The Cooper’s hawk that landed in a yard on Saw Mill Drive and never flew off prompted a call by the homeowner to the town’s new animal control officer.

Within a day the bird would die, but not for lack of effort and care.

Danny Hurd, hired just a few weeks ago, was told the bird might be injured, so on Oct. 3 he headed to the residence to check it out.

This Cooper's Hawk landed in a yard on Saw Mill Drive in Westford and appeared to be incapacitated. The town's animal control officer tried to save its life, but the hawk died overnight on Oct. 4. PHOTO BY DANNY HURD

This Cooper’s Hawk landed in a yard on Saw Mill Drive in Westford and appeared to be incapacitated. The town’s animal control officer tried to save its life, but the hawk died overnight on Oct. 4. PHOTO BY DANNY HURD

The medium sized hawk is native to North America and can be found between Southern Canada and Northern Mexico.

Hurd is an experienced veterinary technician who has worked at animal hospitals in Woburn and Waltham, and spent a year after graduating college as an Air Force officer, training to become a pilot.

The hawk was “bright, alert, and responsive,” Hurd stated in an email. He captured the bird and then headed to the Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford where his friend Tracey Warren Olivieri is an instructor for the Veterinary Assisting program.

Westford Animal Control Officer Danny Hurd brought the Cooper's Hawk to the Nashoba Valley Technical High School on Oct. 3 to show it to the students in the Veterinary Assisting program. COURTESY PHOTO

Westford Animal Control Officer Danny Hurd brought the Cooper’s Hawk to the Nashoba Valley Technical High School on Oct. 3 to show it to the students in the Veterinary Assisting program. COURTESY PHOTO

Olivieri’s students stepped outside the building for a teaching moment with Hurd and his bird.

Then the animal control officer took the hawk some 34 miles away to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Tufts University in North Grafton where he hoped the animal specialists could nurse it back to health. But overnight between Oct. 3 and 4, the bird died.

The clinic sent the following statement from Maureen Murray, assistant director of Tufts Wildlife Clinic:

“The young hawk did not appear to have any fractures but was severely emaciated and weak. The hawk was monitored and provided supportive care by our veterinarians, including feeding. Sadly, due to the advanced state of its condition, it passed away overnight.”

Hurd learned of the bird’s fate in the late afternoon of Oct. 4.

“That’s unfortunate. I’m glad I brought him into a place he could get the best care,” he stated.