By Ryan Hill

SUISUN CITY (CBS13) — A golden eagle took full flight for the first time in six weeks after it was found injured near Rio Vista.

The person who found the injured eagle on December 11, 2020, brought it to the Suisun Wildlife Center for treatment.

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“Only the second one we’ve been able to release from the Wildlife Center and we’ve been serving Solano County since 1977,” Monique Liguori, the executive director for Suisun Wildlife Center, said.

The raptor is not something the center typically sees in need. It has seen a few more flying in the area but, having one brought in for treatment is still fairly uncommon. Getting this bird of prey flying high again meant fixing its right wing.

“It was basically a sprained elbow. So, first priority is cage rest, drugs to make it comfortable and reduce the swelling. Then, physical therapy is the next step,” Kris Reiger, the Wildlife Care Director, said.

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But that next step may not have happened at the Suisun Wildlife Center. The center was hit hard by a grass fire seven months ago. The flames did damage some places like the large bird aviary while others were a total loss.

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“I don’t think any of us ever gave up hope,” Liquori said. “The losses that we had especially with our birds of prey, we kind of feel like, ‘Well, we have to do this for them.'”

After weeks of treatment and physical therapy doing pre-flight exercises, this male golden eagle got the green light to be released. Emotions ran high for some as they watched that king of the sky take off and return to nature.

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“Actually, I think I cried a little bit. It’s an emotional experience. All of us are responsible for these animals and we take it very seriously,” Reiger said.