Two Red Tail Hawks are flying free over Kentucky again, after being trapped illegally, by someone who tried to sell them to undercover officers.
Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Danny Gayheart caught the birds in leg hole traps. He's set to stand trial on September 20.
The two hawks have been nursed back to health by Raptor Rehabilitation since their rescue. They say it took a lot of tender loving care to get the birds back where they belong. "The first one had a toe amputated and developed a bad infection."
Both hawks were set free Thursday afternoon at the Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary in Frankfort. "This is a good place to let them go. They might go right back where they came from, that's their home."
The birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Act. Eileen Wicker of the Raptor Rehabilitation facility says that means they fall under federal protection. "It's against the law to even possess one feather. These birds do so much good."