BANNER ELK, N.C. (WJHL) – An area college’s wildlife rehabilitation center released a juvenile hawk that had been nursed back to health Friday.

Photo courtesy of Lees-McRae College

The May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Lees-McRae College released the young red-tailed hawk Friday afternoon back into the wild.

Assistant professor and veterinarian Dr. Amber McNamara said the hawk was in the center’s care for about 38 days and was emaciated when he first arrived. The hawk weighed about 600 grams at the time of his arrival at the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which McNamara said was about half of what he should have weighed.

The young hawk also had parasites and poor bloodwork results, McNamara said. Before he could be released, McNamara said the hawk had to be adept at flying, maneuvering and landing.

The hawk did not take much urging to take flight, quickly exiting his container and moving through the air.

The center states on its website that the ultimate goal for each of its patients is to release it back into the wild when the conditions are perfect and the animal is ready to return.

More information on the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center can be found online.