Patti MacDonald stands accused of beating a falcon to death earlier this year. Later this month, she’s expected to go to court because of it.
Investigators suspect that when MacDonald spotted the falcon targeting a duck on Jan. 7, she pulled over to help, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.
She is accused of using a beaded scarf to beat the falcon, which later died. But that 8-year-old falcon wasn’t just any bird — it belonged to Scott Dinger, a hunter who was working with it that day. It was named Hornet.
The 60-year-old MacDonald has now been charged with beating or harassing an animal, according to the newspaper. If convicted of the misdemeanor, she could face jail time and fines.
Investigators believe MacDonald contacted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game about the incident but didn’t give her name, the Press reports. The newspaper cited a report from a regional conservation officer, which noted that the agency eventually traced back the call to MacDonald.
“The woman later stated that she had been very upset about the duck being injured, but felt bad about injuring someone’s pet, because she ‘beat the crap out of it really hard,'” the report said, according to the Press.
A message left for MacDonald’s attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.
The Associated Press noted that before the attack, Hornet had long lived around humans.
“So they don’t really know they are falcons,” Dinger said, according to the AP report. “That was probably a part of his undoing, because you could walk up to him and he wouldn’t fly or try to get away.”
Here’s how Dinger explained the January incident, according to the wire service:
He said he was about 500 yards away when Hornet made a successful attack and landed with the duck. He said he was approaching the spot then he saw a red Jeep Wrangler pull up to the side of the road, and Hornet flew away but appeared injured.
Dinger said the woman told him she beat the bird, which had been with humans since the day it was hatched.
“I’m shaking right now just talking about it,” Dinger told the Press in January, when describing Hornet’s death. “Hornet is a really tame bird, you could walk up to him and pet him and kiss him and hold him. It’d be just like me walking up and kicking your dog. It was a bad deal.”