Florida man finds arrow sticking out of protected sandhill crane

Deltona resident John Muller loves to ride his bike through his neighborhood.

"I try to go out every morning and every evening for about a half-an-hour."

He says you never know what you might see.

"There was one morning at the bus stop that the kids were petting three deer that walked out of the woods."

But on one of his rides earlier this week, he saw something that broke his heart.

"I was riding this way, and they were walking that way and for a split second I thought that looks like an arrow."

He quickly grabbed his cell phone to capture the scene for rescuers.

"This is really sad. These animals, these sandhill cranes are protected, and someone shot an arrow into this one," he can be heard saying in the video.

He immediately started searching for the numbers of local animal rescuers.

"I was really happy that the one person that I called came back with a list of numbers to call."

The first call went to Alice Hayes at Wild Florida Rescue.

"They are a threatened species here you can get a fine and jail time if you kill one," she explains.

She put Muller in touch with Tom Scotti, founder of Ahopha Wildlife Rescue.

"I would say it had been that way for several days," he told FOX 35 News.

He says, despite the cowardly attack on the innocent bird, "it looked like the area where the arrow went through, back what I'd call the rump area, it didn't appear that it did any damage"

The bird was captured and taken to a veterinarian after the arrow was removed and stitched up and flushed with antibiotics.  

Get the most up-to-date forecast, sign up for weather alerts, and view live interactive radar for Orlando and Central Florida.

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest launch updates.