The good doctor might feel even more anxious if they bring Federal migratory bird charges against him...!
VIENNA, Va. – Thomas Shepler, a hand surgeon, shot a hawk to death in his backyard when he said the bird was eyeing a young squirrel that he and his wife had helped raise.
Shepler, 65, said the hawk had previously killed an adult squirrel near his suburban Washington home in Vienna. When the doctor tried to chase away the bird over the weekend by yelling and throwing a crowbar at it, the hawk didn't leave the area.
So Shepler got a shotgun and killed it.
A police officer heard the shot Saturday and Shepler was arrested. He was charged with discharging a firearm in public and cruelty to animals.
Shepler says he cares about animals and is feeling a lot of anxiety and embarrassment over the shooting.
But I'm just curious about this guy. What do his actions suggest about him?
Here's a man educated about as well our civilization can manage it, a qualified scientist who is doubtless also a skillful artisan. Yet he admits to throwing a crowbar at a hawk to rid his neighborhood of its menace. Somehow that strikes me as even stranger than shooting it... Was the crowbar just the nearest thing at hand? Or did he think it would make an especially effective missile and go retrieve the crowbar from its peg in the garage?
Whatever the case, he ultimately shoots the hawk for allegedly "eyeing" his pet squirrel. If it were my story, I would at least have the hawk "vigorously chasing" my pet squirrel as I explained why I had to kill it.
Perhaps I'm over thinking this. Maybe the guy's wife wouldn't settle for anything less than extreme prejudice in addressing her concerns about the hawk. ("Alright, alright--I'll take care of it!") I can attest there's little a husband won't do to make Momma happy.
But what if this was his idea alone? What if it seemed the rational and right thing for a well educated suburban man to do, given the circumstance? How weird is that?
The choice of criminal charges against him is another issue entirely, weirder still.