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Tuesday, 09 February 2016 10:33

Team tries to save eagle injured in trap

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RISING SUN, Ind. (Rich Jaffe WKRC) - One of America's most iconic symbols, a bald eagle, is currently being nursed back to health in a local animal rehab facility after being caught in a brutal trap.

Indiana wildlife officials brought the injured bird to the Red Wolf Sanctuary near Rising Sun Tuesday, Feb. 9. Local 12 News got an extraordinary up close and personal view of the efforts to save the bird and a whole lot more.

The dejected looking, mud covered eagle sat quietly in a cage as Red Wolf's Paul Strasser and his team plotted out their plan to help it. The eagle's leg was injured when it got caught in a leghold trap in Rush County, Indiana.

Picking up the bird in his bare hands Strasser explained, "The concern will be if that is dead tissue and it will turn gangrenous which we've had in the past," showing the injury.

First the bird was force fed a couple of mice for sustenance.

"Feel that? Breastbone...That should be like a big turkey breast full of muscle and fat. This bird is starving," said Strasser.

Next the bird was placed in a warm shower to wash the mud off its feathers. Soaking wet, the national symbol still had a quiet dignity. Moments later it was placed in a cage to dry and heal.

Strasser said, "We're kind of on a time crunch because this is the beginning of mating season and if he does or she has a mate or a nest already they will find someone else or they will not breed at all so you could lose potentially three chicks this year."

The hungry eagle was probably after bait placed in the trap. The result was brutal. There was nothing illegal about the leghold traps as long as it was used appropriately. Unfortunately that was not the case as the trap was illegally used to trap a great horned owl. An educational facility that's open for tours, Red Wolf is also home to animals like the friendly fox named Stella. Kim Waxler started volunteering there 9 years ago after her daughters class came for a visit.

She told Local 12 News, "It feels right. The animals are natural, I feel peace and happy. It's just a wonderful thing."

The young bobcats were purring when Local 12 went to see them, and what's a visit to Redwolf without watching Strasser talk to his wolves.

If the eagle recovers quickly, the hope is it will be released back to the wild in 2 or 3 weeks. The sanctuary is 501 C-3 and open for tours and educational visits.

Read 464 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 May 2017 20:00

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