HUGHSON (CBS13) – A bald eagle is a majestic beast in the wild, but one injured female eagle is now in the care of the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center in Hughson– and it didn’t get there easily.
“It’s not every day you’re trying to wrangle an eagle off the front of a bass boat with a fishing net,” said Mark Abraham, a biologist with the California Department of Fish And Wildlife.READ MORE: Record-Breaking Temperatures Posted Around Sacramento Region Friday
He was alerted to the injured eagle by a local fishing guide and went out to take a look. Abraham had quite the time getting this bird captured at Don Pedro Reservoir in Tuolumne County in early April.
He had to chase the injured eagle on the beach which then flew into the lake and had to safely scoop the bird out with a fishing net safely aboard the bass boat.
“There was another boat on the lake a few hundred yards away,” Abraham said. “They were probably trying to figure out what was going on with a guy running across the slope with a giant fishing net, uniform, welding gloves, bouncing around on a boat, falling off of the boat and cheering when we caught the eagle.”
The animal care manager at the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center said the bird experienced quite a bit before getting into their care.
“We suspect that she got into a tussle with another eagle about the same size – and likely would’ve been another female as well – and she was on the losing end of that,” Veronica Sandow, the center’s animal care manager, said.
Multiple talon puncture wounds were found in the beautiful bird of prey including a minor injured wing that will require replacement flight feathers and an older injury to one of her leg.READ MORE: Sacramento Mayor Joins Group Pushing For Reparations For Black Communities As Country Celebrates Juneteenth As Federal Holiday
“It wouldn’t have been able to fly, get its food, it wouldn’t have been able to do anything,” Sandow said. “This bird definitely wouldn’t have made it on its own.”
Before 2019, this center had only a couple of eagles come through their doors in the last 10 years, according to Sandow.
It could take three to four months at the earliest to get this eagle back into the wild with new primary flight feathers and treat her injuries.
It’s a rescue and a task many are glad to be a part of in the meantime.
“When we are able to intervene and do something like this, it feels pretty good,” Abraham said.
“They’re America’s symbol. And, whenever you have a powerful animal like that, you really are in awe,” Sandow said.
The Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center said it’s waiting on replacement flight feathers for the rescued bald eagle.MORE NEWS: 'The Heat Is Unbearable': Friday Night Out Brings Sacramento Crowds Inside To Beat The Heat
It could take the bird a little longer to be released depending on when they put those feathers in and how she responses to treatment.