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Pro golfer apologizes for killing hawk

ancientgirl
March 7th, 2008, 10:24 AM
This is appalling and there's just no excuse.

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Pro golfer apologizes for killing hawk

By TRAVIS REED, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 19 minutes ago

ORLANDO, Fla. - Pro golfer Tripp Isenhour apologized for killing a hawk that was making noise while he tried to film a TV show. Now the Humane Society wants the PGA Tour to take action.
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"Because of the high profile nature of this case, the PGA needs to take steps to address its interest and to make it clear that they don't condone animal cruelty," said Dale Bartlett, the deputy manager for animal cruelty issues for the Humane Society of the United States.

Bartlett said the organization would contact the PGA Tour on Friday to discuss the issue.

Isenhour, who plays on the developmental Nationwide Tour, was charged Wednesday with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird, misdemeanors that carry a maximum penalty of 14 months in jail and $1,500 in fines.

Isenhour quickly apologized Thursday.

"As soon as this happened, I was mortified and extremely upset and continue to be upset," Isenhour said in a statement issued through his management company, SFX Golf. "I want to let everyone know there was neither any malice nor deliberate intent whatsoever to hit or harm the hawk. I was trying to simply scare it into flying away."

He's so apologetic right? Let's read on.

The 39-year-old player, whose real name is John Henry Isenhour III, became angry while filming "Shoot Like A Pro" on Dec. 12 at the Grand Cypress Golf Club when a squawking red-shouldered hawk roughly 300 yards away forced another take. Poor guy, had to play more golf.

He drove closer to the bird in his golf cart and starting hitting balls at it. The bird didn't move and Isenhour gave up and drove away.

Isenhour started again when the hawk moved within about 75 yards, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Brian Baine indicated in a report.

Isenhour allegedly said, "I'll get him now," Sounds to me like he was aiming for the poor bird.and aimed for the hawk.

"About the sixth ball came very near the bird's head, and (Isenhour) was very excited that it was so close," Baine wrote. What he did was no accident.

A few shots later, witnesses said he hit the hawk. The bird, protected as a migratory species, fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils.

Bartlett said Isenhour's case, like the Michael Vick dog fighting case, is disappointing for society.

"We look up to professional athletes and we want them to reflect the best of us as a society and I think we're appalled when it turns out they instead reflect some of the very worst attributes," he said in a phone interview Thursday night.

Isenhour said he is an animal lover and his family has adopted three cats from a local shelter.

"We ask that everyone accept my sincerest apology, and please be respectful of my family's privacy," he said. You don't deserve the consideration of privacy.

Isenhour has won four times on the Nationwide Tour, including twice in 2006. The former Georgia Tech star has played three events this year on the tour the last a 36th-place tie two weeks ago in the Moonah Classic in Australia.

Jethro Senger, a sound engineer at the shoot, said hitting the bird was "basically like a joke to Isenhour)."

"He just kept saying how he didn't think he could have hit it, which I think is a stupid thing for a PGA Tour golfer to say," Senger said. "He can put a ball in a hole from hundreds of yards away, and here he is hitting line drives at something that's, I don't know, a couple hundred feet away?"

Senger said no one in the roughly 15-person crew intervened, and many later regretted it.

"It was one of those cases where there's some trepidation on whether or not they should speak up and do something," Senger said.

Senger said the killing was not captured on video. The bird was buried at the golf course and later dug up by Florida investigators.

"Americans have no tolerance for cruelty to animals. Such a petty, mean-spirited act against a wild bird is inexcusable and prosecutors are right to hold Isenhour accountable to the law," Humane Society executive vice president Michael Markarian said in a statement released Thursday.

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Things like this make me sick. That bird had every right to be where he was and do what he was doing. I get woken up plenty by birds outside my tree, but never has it crossed my mind to throw anything at one!

This guy is obviously a spoiled brat of a man. Yes, the article says he's adopted 3 cats from a shelter. But how can you treat a wild animal with such malice, knowing you have cats that have been possibly treated the same way! :mad:

NoahGrey
March 7th, 2008, 10:55 AM
I agree, this is unacceptable and disgusting. What this poor animal must have gone though. I am wondering If it was already injured, since it didn't fly away the first time, prior to him hitting him with golf balls. If he was and the investigators can determine this..he should and could get more charges layed on him.

I remember I picked up a injured hawk. I took him to our wildlife rehabber, who took care of him. He was later released:) Very BEAUTIFUL animals.

ACO22

Jim Hall
March 7th, 2008, 11:15 AM
WHAT AN A:censored:

I love that " Isenhour said he is an animal lover and his family has adopted three cats from a local shelter." HOPE THEY DONT MAKE ANY NOISE

i wonder two things
how come the dumb bird didnt get the hell out of there ? Maybe she/he was guarding a nest?

ANd If he is such a good golfer how many strokes did he take
oh oh a protected species thatll get the feds on his butt
ANd it wasnt filmed sureeeee ill buy that one in a new york minute :yell:

Things like this make me sick. That bird had every right to be where he was and do what he was doing. I get woken up plenty by birds outside my tree, but never has it crossed my mind to throw anything at one!

I have had a few blujaysthet were yelling at my feeed at dawn but after i showed my hunter cat zippy they diint hang out there much anymore

ancientgirl
March 7th, 2008, 02:28 PM
Aslan, Jim, I think the bird didn't fly away because maybe he was either protecting a nest or he thought it was his territory.

Regardless, he might have just gotten a hose and sprayed some water his way. I think that at least would not have killed the poor animal.

NoahGrey
March 7th, 2008, 03:09 PM
Aslan, Jim, I think the bird didn't fly away because maybe he was either protecting a nest or he thought it was his territory.

I think if the hawk was protecting a nest, It would have been trying to attack him for getting too close. I honestly don't think that it was protecting a nest. To early for baby season. I am assuming that the hawk was sadly probably already injured. If a bird can fly..it will. You can never get too close to a bird or any animal for that matter, it will either fly away or run. If you can get close enough to an animal and it does not fly or run, something is probably wrong with it.

ACO22

SARAH
March 7th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Total jerk. I've always thought golfers looked silly anyway (clothes and behavior) and this just makes me like them (in general) even less - although I realize it's not fair to all because of the actions of one criminal.

It'll pass. Has to, half my in-law family golf!

What is maybe as bad as this :censored:'s actions, is the non-action of the 15 or whatever on-lookers! Drive some balls at their heads too, all of them! The Killer first of all, till he drops (not dead, but feeling the pain!).

Oooh, I can get so mad and mean sometimes :D

ancientgirl
March 7th, 2008, 03:30 PM
I agree. Someone should have said something, but sadly, if this guy is jerk enough to kill a bird for ruining his dumb filming, he's probably jerky enough to make someone lose their job, which may be why some stayed quiet.

I'd have said something. Big deal if I'd gotten fired from the shoot. I'd find some other shoot to do. I imagine in that industry, there is something happening daily for you to be able to find work. After all, you'd be fired for protecting an animal from a crazy person like this!