A Golden Eagle was released after successfully being rehabilitated by Wild Friends at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.

Source: Best Friends Animal Society/Youtube

The eagle was released back into the wild near where he was originally found in Arizona. The eagle had sustained an injury earlier this year and had been grounded when he was rescued. He was brought back to Wild Friends in critical condition but the team was able to stabilize the bird enough for the onsite veterinarians to perform emergency surgery. They discovered through an X-ray that there was an unknown material stuffed in his crop, a thin-walled pouch connected to the esophagus. The poor bird was also treated for symptoms of lead poisoning.

bald eagle injured

Courtesy: Best Friends Animal Society

Through some more difficulties, the eagle stayed in intensive care for over a month. Unfortunately, since he had been immobile for so long, once he was better, he was not strong enough to return to the wild. The team at Best Friends worked to train the bird and get his strength back up. At first, the eagle was only able to do one or two laps inside the 100-foot bird flight building. By the end of his time in rehabilitation, he could fly between even higher perches for eight laps with no breaks.

When he was ready, Best Friends contacted Arizona Fish and Game, who helped with the spectacular release of the eagle. He was so happy to be back he “majestically soared before disappearing into the red rock cliffs,” the Best Friends Animal Society said.

Below are some tips from Wild Friend for what to do should you encounter injured wildlife on the road:

  • Find your closest wildlife rehab center at AHNow.org and call for assistance in real-time, if possible.
  • Most rehab centers will ask that you have an animal contained, so it would help if you can get the animal in a box for transport, using either a large net or a towel (whatever you have on hand). Take extra care around the beak and feet.
  • Some centers have after-hour numbers, but if your closest center does not have an after-hours number, you can call Wild Friends for 24/7 assistance on transporting an animal and finding a center near you at (559) MED-WILD.
  • Call your local Department of Wildlife Resources or Department of Natural Resources office for assistance if the animal is too dangerous or in a precarious position.
  • Stay with the animal to prevent it from moving from the scene or coming into contact with other animals.
  • Keeping wildlife is not just dangerous, it’s illegal. You can be fined and possibly receive jail time for the offense. Wildlife centers provide a 48-hour grace period before seizing wildlife and charging a fine.

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