You may recall the story of Harvey the Hawk, who we talked about during the height of Hurricane Harvey. A cab driver named William Bruso had found the raptor sheltering in his cab as the storm built in intensity. It seemed injured and wouldn’t leave the car, so Bruso took him home to his apartment, attempting to save him. He broadcast much of this adventure in a series of YouTube videos.

Because the internet is the internet, the comments section quickly exploded with accusations of how Bruso shouldn’t have “imprisoned” a wild animal which might not even have been injured and was just tired, was feeding the Coopers Hawk the wrong sorts of food and had endangered it by exposing it to a Confederate flag. (I only wish I was making that last one up, but it’s true.)

Despite all the accusations that Bruso (who the internet immediately declared to be a horrible person) was doing it all wrong, he was actually arranging for the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition (TWRC) to come pick Harvey up when the conditions allowed and transfer him into the care of professionals. That was done and Harvey spent some time with them before being transferred to another center with larger facilities. That’s where he was able to take his first flight in captivity, though it turned out that Harvey was actually a she. They kept the same name, however. (HEY! The bird might identify as a male for all you haters know. Who are you to say, Judgey McJudgeface?)

The rehabilitation process finally finished this week, and as Fox News reported, Harvey was brought back to full health. (For those accusing Mr. Bruso, they determined that Harvey had soft tissue damage and other injuries.)

Harvey the Hurricane Hawk is back in the skies over North Texas.

The bird became famous after taking refuge in a Houston man’s taxi during Hurricane Harvey refusing to leave. She was featured in a series of YouTube videos and became an instant viral sensation.

The taxi driver took care of Harvey until she could be turned over to the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition.

The Houston-based animal care facility then took Harvey to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Lucas for rehabilitation.

You can read an additional report on what turned out to be a very touching story at National Geographic.

Let’s just get to the good stuff. This was Harvey’s first flight inside an outdoor cage during rehabilitation.

And this is the moment of release, from William Bruso’s YouTube channel. The professionals caring for Harvey were nice enough to allow William to come along and participate in releasing her. Her first flight was magnificent.

The storm produced a lot of stories of tragedy, but also of heroism, rescues and an outpouring of humanity. While saving a wild animal may not carry the same MSM impact as the rescue of children, Mr. Bruso did something wonderful. Despite all the haters attacking him from the anonymity of the internet, he saved this bird and got her released. It was a marvelous gesture and I salute him for it.