The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program took to social media earlier this week to express their disappointment in a situation involving the death of a bird in Fort Collins over the weekend.

The RMRP cares for more than 300 birds a year, helping to rehabilitate their injuries, while also providing education and research to the public. Last weekend, one of their rescuers was dispatched to the 100 block of Pearl Street near Old Town, after a homeowner called to report a dead turkey vulture in their backyard. The RMRP believes the bird died sometime between 4/19-4/21, and the necropsy results revealed that it had been shot in the chest by a pellet gun and then succumbed to wounds from the incident.

No doubt the RMRP is extremely disturbed by what happened, and furthermore, want to make it known that under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to intentionally kill raptors and many other non-game birds. The RMRP reported the intentional and illegal vulture killing to local authorities.

Vultures are an essential part of our ecosystem. They help halt the spread of disease by eating the carcasses of dead animals, which in turn, protects humans from many illnesses.