This Golden Eagle was suffering from lead poisoning when it was found in February in Woodbury north of Nelson. Photo submitted

This Golden Eagle was suffering from lead poisoning when it was found in February in Woodbury north of Nelson. Photo submitted

VIDEO: Golden Eagle released in Kootenays after being saved from poisoning

The eagle was discovered in February near Nelson

A Golden Eagle is back home in the skies above Kootenay Lake after an effort to save it from lead poisoning.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service posted a video Tuesday on Facebook of the eagle’s release from captivity.

The female raptor was spotted on Feb. 19 near Woodbury north of Nelson on the side of the lake by Evan MacDonald and Dan Britten.

The pair brought the eagle to Nelson Animal Hospital, where it was treated for two days before being flown to the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta.

Nelson veterinarian Leanne Sackney, who has experience working with raptors, said the bird had no signs of injury but was weak and not moving. That quickly changed.

“An eagle can be a little intimidating,” said Sackney. “They are great big birds and even just the couple days we had her she got quite a bit stronger, so I was grateful there is a rehab place that is trained for treating and caring for them.”

Sackney said blood tests showed the eagle was suffering from lead poisoning, which she added can be common in wildlife at this time of year when some hunters use lead shot or fishers have lead sinker weights.

“The [person] at OWL told me a piece of lead the size of a grain of rice can poison an eagle, and fairly quickly apparently.”

When the bird was healthy, it was returned to the Kootenays and released near the same spot it was found.

Conservation officer Nathan Smienk was among the small group assisting with the release. Smienk said he brought his family along to witness the event. Only moments after the eagle flew away from its cage it landed on a nearby rock and was joined by another Golden Eagle.

“I grew up here and it’s one of those things I don’t remember seeing as a kid and now they are starting to make a come back,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Sackney credited MacDonald and Britten for saving the eagle’s life.

“The really cool thing is these guys who cared enough to stop and pick up this large, intimidating bird,” she said. “There’s good people out there.”



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Christina Kubelka (left) and Mallory Kroeker were among the staff at the Nelson Animal Hospital who cared for the eagle for two days before it was sent to a rehab facility. Photo submitted

Christina Kubelka (left) and Mallory Kroeker were among the staff at the Nelson Animal Hospital who cared for the eagle for two days before it was sent to a rehab facility. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Elsie Hellstrom (top left), Mary Gjernes (top right), Stan Moore (bottom left) and Evelina Walter all celebrated their birthdays this month. All photos courtesy of Brittany Siemens.
Mission seniors residence celebrates 4 centenarian birthdays this month

Special party honouring a combined 405 years of life held on Jan. 25

A Chilliwack driver’s vehicle was impounded for seven days after an excessive speeding violation. (RCMP photo)
RCMP catch Chilliwack driver doing 60 km/h over posted speed limit

The motorist was hit with a big ticket and a seven day vehicle impoundment

Abbotsford Police is investigating after bullet casings were found following a shots fired call at the intersection of Purcell Avenue and Wells Gray Avenue on Tuesday night. (File photo)
Bullet casings found after shots-fired call in Abbotsford on Tuesday

Abbotsford Police Department seeking witnesses and CCTV footage following shooting

UFV assistant kinesiology professor Dr. Iris Lesser exercises along Chilliwack's Vedder Rotary Trail with her daughter Kaia. (UFV photo)
UFV study finds women with reduced physical activity had more mental health struggles during COVID pandemic

The study suggested women suffered more than men as gyms, parks and playgrounds shut down

Hatzic Middle school has had the most COVID-19 exposures in the district. File photo.
COVID-19 exposure at Hatzic Middle

Exposure occurred on Jan. 19

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Most Read