Adele Moore and Rachael Heaton remove a bald eagle from a pet carrier. The eagle was being released back into the wild after being rehabilitated.
By Alex Haglund
The crowd at the ball fields in New Minden was not deterred by the gray, rainy weather on Saturday morning. Those present were out to see something very unique, a symbol of our nation, a bald eagle.
The bird in question was being released back into the wild after being rehabilitated.
Three people from the Treehouse Wildlife Center of Dow, volunteer Penny Moon, rehabilitation clinic manager Rachael Heaton and founder Adele Moore open a pet carrier like what you would use to move a large dog around with, and remove an immense raptor, which is more interested in getting to go free than it is in behaving.
“Look at how she has her wings out,” someone says as the bird stretches after coming out of the carrier.
“It’s a she?” asked Cheryll Krueger. “We named her ‘Otis’, but we didn’t know.”
The Kruegers, Randy, Cheryll, Cade and Kayla, had found the eagle near their home close to the fields where it was being released.
The bird was perched over the remains of a coyote it was eating and it was sick, poisoned– either from something in the coyote or from somewhere else.
The Kruegers called the game warden who referred them to Treehouse who had Moon rescue the bird and bring it to their facilities for rehabilitation.
Heaton said that the supportive care for this eagle likely included administration of active carbon, to leech the toxins from the eagle’s system.
Moon, Moore and Heaton carefully carry the bird down a gentle slope from where the carrier was, to give the crowd a better view when it is let loose. Hands are kept around the eagle’s head and neck the whole time to keep it from rearing back at them as they carry it.
After the walk down and a countdown, the eagle is let go of, and it immediately takes flight and soars across a field. It then perches in a tree across from the crowd but still in view– it’s keeping it’s eyes on all the humans.
A video of the eagle’s release can be found on the Nashville News Facebook page, or at www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAdr9DbzeTo&feature=youtu.be
“I think that this is the most eagles we have ever released in a year,” Moore said. Heaton stated that more than 800 raptors and other animals were rehabbed and released in the last year.
The Treehouse Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and works to reahbilitate sick or injured wildlife and to promote nature and environmental education. They do not receive any government funding and operates on grants and donations, which they will graciously accept. For more on Treehouse, visit the website at treehousewildlifecenter.com.
They can be found on Facebook and other social media as well, where they post notices of upcoming animal releases.