Sometimes it’s possible to get in trouble for trying to do the right thing. From the Associated Press:
NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime observer of celebrated New York City red-tailed hawk Pale Male was arrested after finding the body of the bird’s yearlong mate, authorities said Tuesday.
State Department of Environmental Conservation said Lincoln Karim, a broadcast engineer for Associated Press Television News, was arrested on charges including illegal possession of a raptor. He was later released.
Karim said he had taken the body of Pale Male’s mate, Lima, after finding it dead in Central Park over the weekend and taking photographs of it.
Concerned that an animal would eat it or a maintenance worker would toss it away, he said he put the body in a grocery bag and took it to his apartment, where he stowed away the carcass on his fire escape.
He said he intended to have the bird’s body examined to determine a cause of death by taking it to the State Wildlife Pathology laboratory in Delmar, N.Y.
“I did the right thing,” he said. “If I had photographed the hawk and walked away — I couldn’t do that.”
DEC police contacted him Monday and requested he turn the bird over to them.
He initially refused, saying he feared the DEC would not investigate Lima’s death properly.
He said he was arrested when he returned the bird to the park.
Emily DeSantis, a spokeswoman for the DEC, said that before his arrest he had agreed to meet with a DEC conservation officer to turn over Lima’s body. “Karim did not cooperate and caused the officer to go to multiple locations over several hours,” she said in a statement.
Pale Male took up with Lima after his longtime mate, Lola, disappeared in December 2010.
Pale Mate and Lola famously built a nest on a Fifth Avenue high-rise ledge before they were evicted by the co-op. They were allowed to rebuild their nest after an outcry from bird lovers.