Tata, considered the world’s oldest crow, passed away gently in the arms of his caretaker, wildlife rehabilitator, Kristine Flones on Sunday morning, July 2nd.

Tata gained fame in 2002 when the DEC confiscated him along with Hohkmah, a red tail hawk, because Kristine didn’t have her Federal bird license. The DEC law says that when Tata left his original family, where he was legally a pet, he reverted to being wildlife. Since he was blind with cataracts and couldn’t fly, by DEC law he would then have to be euthanized.

The case went before a packed courthouse in front of Woodstock Judge Frank Engel, who was able to secure a release for Tata. After six weeks of incarceration, Tata was returned to Kristine and Glenn on February 12, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

The case was much publicized in the Woodstock Times and other local papers with many outraged people writing letters to the editors. The writing staff at Kingston’s Daily Freeman at that time said that it was the strongest response they’d ever had to a story.

Thereafter, the family received many calls inquiring after Tata and those loving calls for Tata from strangers have continued to the present time.

Grandfather Tataji was born on Long Island in a Jewish Cemetery in May of 1947.

Soon after his birth he fell from his nest during a violent thunderstorm. The cemetery caretaker took him to well-known animal lover and healer Julia Manetta to see if he could be saved. Under the loving care given by Mrs. Manetta, her husband Robert, and their children Josephine and Robert Jr., Tata recovered from the cold and from most of his injuries. However, he was never able to fly. His natural crow life was over. Instead, he became a member of the Manetta family playing with the kids and the family dog.

In 2001 Mr. Manetta was ill with cancer and a heart condition and the family was in an emotional crisis. They began looking for a person to adopt Tata who was then 54 years old. Somehow, through wildlife rehabilitation circles they found Kristine Flones and Glenn Miller who took Tataji into their family.

During the last years Tata has held court from his magnificent donated cage in the bay window of the family dining room. He had his own personal call when he communicated with local crows along Wittenberg Road. Those calls were loud enough to be heard all over the neighborhood. Bella voce Tataji has shown the people around him what true heart is.

He lived completely in the moment, accepting what was. He was able to communicate this love to anyone who would spend a few quiet moments with him. They would soon find themselves swooning with love or with tears rolling down their cheeks and the room would be filled with the palpable energy of intense and pure love.

Tata is also given credit for bringing local wildlife rehabilitators together during the emergency of his situation. The result of that was the formation of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, a not-for-profit center for the rehabilitation of wildlife.

Donations may be made in Tata’s memory to Ravensbeard through  Christine Flones is co-founder of Ravensbeard.

C.A.S.H. also thanks Del and Fred Seligman, Esqs. for bringing the lawsuit against the DEC that allowed Tata to stay with Christine. Through Del, C.A.S.H. served the DEC with a Temporary Restraining Order the evening they were going to kill Tata.


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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561