After two months of successful rehabilitation after getting entangled in fishing wire, a bald eagle was released back into the wild on Saturday.
Representatives from Raven Ridge Wildlife Center and the Conestoga Volunteer Fire Company, who helped to save the eagle in the beginning of September, were on hand for the release along with family members.
“To see an eagle take off is a memory you’ll never forget,” says Raven Ridge founder Tracie Young. She called the teamwork necessary to save the eagle “amazing.”
On Thursday, September 3, a person walking along the Conestoga River at Lancaster County Park noticed a large eagle tangled up in fishing wire and hanging by one wing. Realizing that extra help was needed, Stage Game Warden Daniel Gibble notified the Conestoga Volunteer Fire Company and Raven Ridge for further assistance, according to a Facebook post on the wildlife center’s Facebook page.
“It’s an abnormal call, but we assisted and made it happen,” said Conestoga fire chief Larry Frankford, Jr.
***** UPDATE***** On September 3rd State Game Warden Daniel Gibble was called to a scene of a report of an adult bald…Posted by Raven Ridge Wildlife Center on Saturday, October 31, 2020
The eagle, an 11-pound female which Young describes as “bigger, stronger and meaner” than its male counterpart, was initially thought dead by rescuers. That is, until the rescuers started up a chainsaw meant to gently bring the tree the eagle was stuck in down. Once the eagle began showing signs of life, Young and Gibble went out in a small boat to catch the bird as it fell.
Over the last two months, the bird was kept in a quiet, stress-free environment until it was healthy enough to be released.
Since 2014, bald eagles are no longer considered endangered or threatened in Pennsylvania, though they are still considered a “high profile bird.” Despite this, Young says calls to rescue injured eagles are unfortunately common. Nearly all cases involving injured eagles stem from some concentration of lead poisoning, causing by the predatory bird ingesting lead by way of a bullet encased in hunted prey, Young added.
The bald eagle has been an emblem of America since the nation’s founding, so Young couldn’t help but take note of the timing of the eagle’s release just a few days before the 2020 Presidential election.
“There is so much anger and fighting with everything going on right now, so this is like hope,” says Young.