By John Montone, 1010 WINS

There are natural-born killers leaving their victims’ bodies in Central Park.

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The city’s hawk population is thriving, and as these killing machines of the avian kingdom will do, they have left the carcasses of squirrels and pigeons strewn about the gardens and grass.  A woman who lives near the park told 1010 WINS she watched in horror as a hungry hawk honed in on her favorite black squirrel.  She claimed she could tell that squirrel apart from all of the others, that it would eat nuts out of her hand.  The woman yelled to the squirrel to, “Run, run!”  And, “Phew!” her beloved squirrel escaped…that day.

Returning to the park on another day she saw her squirrel, “With his guts hanging out.”

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This woman is now ridden with anxiety.  She loves the park, but is afraid another hungry hawk will someday chomp on her Chihuahua.  She imagines the fast-flying predator swooping in and snatching the tiny, helpless, yelping dog with its razor-edged talons, escaping skyward with her beloved pet and making a meal out of poor Max while perched high above her in a tree.  She has envisioned her Chihuahua’s kidnapping and grisly death so often, she no longer walks the tiny dog but carries it in a pouch pressed up against her body.

But rather than a horror show, a veteran Urban Park Ranger tells 1010 WINS, what the woman witnessed was , “…a real life nature show.”  He says it’s great that there are so many hawks in Central Park because they sit at , “…the top of the food chain,” and keep the park’s ecosystem in balance. “It is the life cycle of the urban jungle,” he says.

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What he means is that hawks voraciously dine on all manner of rodents…mice, rats and squirrels as well as the city’s flying rodents, also known as pigeons.  And yes, once in a while a hungry hawk will decide on an exotic treat … like a Chihuahua.