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Healing a hawk: How wildlife experts treat injuries of the smallest and wildest

NOBLE, Okla. - Most of us are familiar with the process of healing a human's broken leg, but what about a bird?

In this case, it's not just any bird, it's a baby hawk.

He is being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Noble.

At WildCare Oklahoma they take in thousands of animals every year, but they say this little bird is making remarkable progress.

"He's growing so fast right now, but that's good because it means his bone is healing really fast as well," said Dr. Faye Lorenzsonn.

News 4 followed along as the red-shouldered hawk got the treatment he needed after falling from his nest and breaking his leg.

Sometimes birds, like humans, require surgery after a break, and the veterinarians have to place a pin inside the bone to keep it stable.
Luckily, in this case, the bird's bones were lined up well so he only needed a splint, which he's expected to only have to spend seven days in.

He doesn't have a name, but neither do any of the other animals WildCare rehabilitates.

"People always ask us if we name them and for one, they aren't pets, and that always helps us make a bit of distinction between that," said WildCare Oklahoma Director Rondi Large.

However, he does have a bit of a following on social media.

On WildCare Oklahoma's Facebook page, you can get an up close and personal look at the recovery of animals in their care as they prepare for the ultimate goal - a return to freedom.

"We're just honored that we have an opportunity to help them when they're struggling so they do have the opportunity to get their freedom back and be freed," Large said.

If you come across an animal you think needs their care, you can contact Wild Care Oklahoma at (405)872-9338.