A juvenile bald eagle is bound for a rehabilitation centre after being rescued near the Salmon Arm wharf on July 6. (Gary Turner photo)

A juvenile bald eagle is bound for a rehabilitation centre after being rescued near the Salmon Arm wharf on July 6. (Gary Turner photo)

Volunteers pull off late-night eagle rescue in Salmon Arm

Bird bound for a rehabilitation centre in Delta

A juvenile bald eagle is bound for a rehabilitation centre after volunteers pulled off a late-night rescue of the frightened and uncooperative bird on July 6.

The young raptor appeared injured and caught up in brush near the stage in the Salmon Arm Marine Park when it was found by a patrolling security guard, explained Gary Turner, a Vernon resident who performs bird rescues on behalf of the OWL Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.

It was around 10 p.m. when the call came in; Turner said he doesn’t usually attempt night rescues but decided to drive to Salmon Arm for this one.

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While they awaited his arrival, Turner suggested the people who spotted the injured bird try to get a blanket over top of it to calm it down. According to Turner this did not go well as the eagle slipped away from the would-be rescuers and hopped into Shuswap Lake where it swam away.

It was around 11 p.m. when Turner arrived. The eagle had returned to shore and was perched on the railing of a footbridge. Using a net and blanket, he was able to get the eagle, which he believes is a female, into a large dog crate.

Turner brought the eagle back to his home where he says the bird is alert and eating. He is awaiting another OWL volunteer to drive the eagle to the the rehabilitation centre in Delta where they will determine exactly what injuries stopped it from flying away.

For concerns about the injured bird or more information on assisting rescue efforts, OWL can be reached at 604-946-3171.

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jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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