A bald eagle takes off from the top of the whale statue at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park on May 26, 2020. (File Photo)

Injured eagle rescued by Sts’ailes community on the mend

It will be at least another few weeks before considering release, OWL says

The injured bald eagle rescued near Harrison Mills is on the mend, according to area raptor rehab officials.

Raptor care manager of Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) Rob Hope said for a little while, they weren’t sure if the eagle was going to make it after it was injured on Tuesday, May 26, but the prognosis is looking much better.

Hope said the wound to the bird’s left shoulder wasn’t caused by electric shock, which is a frequent source of injury for eagles. Rehab workers sutured the wound quickly and placed the eagle on antibiotics to clear any possible infection.

RELATED: Injured bald eagle rescued in Sts’ailes community

“She did have a nasty wound in the shoulder, probably from a fight. It looked really gnarly when we got it; a lot of damage was done,” Hope said. “The wing wrap is off now and it seems to be moving okay at this point.”

Hope said the eagle, which was seen with along the side of Morris Valley Road in Harrison Mills, is eating and otherwise exhibiting healthy behaviour at this time.

“It’s eating, perky, alert, all the good stuff,” Hope said.

In terms of how long the eagle would be in recovery at OWL is difficult to determine. Hope said the bird would be “here for the long haul,” and he expected the eagle to stay with them for at least the next couple of weeks while the muscles in its wing start to mend.

READ ALSO: B.C. raptor rehab group rescues bald eagle from sewage treatment pond

“We just have to wait and make sure the muscle adheres; there’s not much we can do to suture the muscle up,” Hope said.

Sts’ailes First Nation Chief Ralph Leon, Jr. and members of the Sts’ailes community stayed with the bird for two and a half hours while OWL medics were on the way. Leon told The Observer that the bird appeared to be trying to swim to land and was unable to fly, eventually making it to the side of the road. Chief Leon said he was very grateful for the community members who stayed with him and the eagle, watching over the bird and guiding traffic around the area. Chief Leon said the Sts’ailes community has rescued at least three eagles from the area in recent memory; the source of the wounded birds often comes from mating-related fights or from electric shock from the nearby power lines.

When the bird is fully recovered, it’s likely to be released in the same area in which it was found.


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