Va. man charged with killing hawk to help squirrel

VIENNA, Va. (AP) - For a Virginia doctor, squirrels are a man's
best friend, too.
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.

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