Injured bald eagle flies free again after near-fatal accident
A bald eagle with a knack for city life was released back into the wild on Saturday after nearly losing his life three months ago.
The eagle, who has been nesting, breeding, and raising little ones in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park with his companion for the past 13 years, flew into a powerline in December.
His wing and leg were badly burned in the accident, and was unable to fly.
Jenny Patterson spotted the eagle walking down the sidewalk after the accident.
“We thought ‘this is really strange, this isn’t normal,’” she said. “We chased him around for a while, then called animal services.”
The bald eagle was taken to the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta for treatment – but his prognosis wasn’t good.
“When I did see his injuries I was just immediately deflated,” said Mindy Dick, who works at the wildlife centre. “All we can do in that situation is just a lot of fluids, antiobiotics, and lots of wound care.”
The bald eagle was given just a five per cent chance of survival – but as weeks turned into months the bird made a dramatic recovery.
On Saturday, in the very place he was found injured, the bird was brought back and released – much to the delight of neighbours and his rescuers.
“It’s pretty amazing to see him fly out today, safe and sound,” said Patterson. “It was amazing.”
Now all the bird needs to do is reunite with his mate.
Locals say the lone female eagle has been spotted at the park alone as recently as last week and hope the two rekindle their romance – after all it is breeding season.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Roberts