Members of the Sts’ailes First Nation community aided in the rescue of a bald eagle on Tuesday (May 26).
Chief Ralph Leon, Jr. got a call from a few other community members about a bird in distress near Morris Valley Road by Harrison Mills. It appeared to be trying to swim to land, unable to fly. He contacted Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) for assistance.
“Me and a few of the band members stayed with it until they showed up,” Chief Leon said. “They said it looked like it was in a fight with another eagle.”
One of the volunteers who stayed with Chief Leon for the two-and-a-half hour wait happened to be a flagger who directed traffic around the area where the bird was walking.
“I’m very thankful for the community members and their help,” Chief Leon said. “It was pretty cool.”
Chief Leon said OWL would release the bird in the same area in which it was found.
Rob Hope, the raptor care manager with OWL, said the eagle had a large wound on its left shoulder and it’s unclear yet as to whether or not it was caused by a fight or by a shock from the nearby power lines. Given the lack of a burning smell, Hope said it is at this point more likely a fight.
“We’ve sowed it up and it’s on antibiotics for a week or so,” Hope said. OWL caregivers will continue to monitor the eagle and release it when possible. Hope added they will know more about the bird’s situation in about a week.
Chief Leon said the community has rescued at least three eagles from the area. It’s a relatively common area for injuries for a couple reasons: the proximity to the power lines and the increased probability of fights given the eagles like to mate and nest near that road.
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