Neighborhood works together to rescue injured bald eagle

There has been and update on the bald eagles condition.

Posted: Apr 8, 2019 6:43 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2019 11:54 AM

WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)— There has been an update from Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center regarding the bald eagle's condition.

Registered vet tech and CEO Carol Blacketer said the eagle was treated for shock this weekend and sedated with a full exam, X-rays, and blood lead testing. 

Blacketer said the eagle wasn't struck by a vehicle or injured by a power line.

"This 10.89Ib eagle had been in a fight," said Blacketer. "There are a few puncture wounds and a lot of blood that obviously came from the other bird."

Blacketer said there are no fractures according to the X-rays. 

Blacketer also said the X-ray did not express that the eagle was incubating eggs or chicks. Although, the gender of the bird is still unknown. 

"The eagle is very stiff and sore, and doesn't want to fly right now," said Blacketer. "All soft tissue injuries will heal."

Below you can read the full story leading up to Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center's rescue:

A bird that people, and especially Americans, are always on the look out for paid a visit to a White County neighborhood. People living in the Lehe Addition neighborhood had an up close encounter.

"We never seen bald eagles or anything like that in this area," said neighbor Randy Jefferies.

A bald eagle was standing in the front lawn of Randy Jefferies' neighbor.

"It was probably two to two and a half feet tall. I mean it was, it was big," said Jefferies.  

Neighbors thought the bird was just stopping for a snack but after realizing the bird couldn't stretch its seven foot wings, they knew something was wrong.

 "We noticed it had kind of hopped behind the neighbor's house and it was trying to fly and couldn't take off," said Jefferies. "At that point we knew it was injured."

Neighbor Caitlin Hirsch stepped in to help. Rescuing big birds is her forte.

"I'm actually qualified to do that," said Hirsch. "I worked for the Birds of Prey Foundation in Broomfield, Colorado for almost eight years."

She now volunteers for Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center in Carroll County. Since living here, she's rescued plenty of birds but not ones this big.

 "An eagle might eat your chihuahua if it was really hungry," said Hirsch. "Eight pounds of eagle is like eight pounds of fury so when you are trying to catch one that doesn't feel very good you're like, oh I forgot those are very long talons that you have."

Although, with help from the neighbors, the bird was captured safely.

"Moving slowly, getting close enough to get a towel over it, once you get a towel over it, you control its head and its wings and we were able to get it into a dog crate," said Hirsch.

Things like cars and power lines could cause a bird this size to be injured. Although once the eagle is found, there are state laws about what the next steps are.

 "If a facility has the ability to support a bird and that bird is not releasible because of the nature of its injuries, with a permit they might be able to keep that bird," said Hirsch. "If its temperament is right it would be an animal ambassador."

The bird is now in rehabilitation at the Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center in Carroll County. 

Click here to learn more about Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center and how you can donate to this non-profit rescue.

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