Conservationist Rescues Bald Eagle From Washington Ravine: PHOTO

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

A bald eagle is recovering after a conservationist rescued it from a Washington state ravine over the weekend. According to West Seattle Blog, the reduced bald eagle is now receiving care at the PAWS animal shelter and wildlife center. It was rescued from Salmon Creek Ravine, which is south of White Center by community naturalist Kersti Muul. She revealed more details about the rescue with the media outlet. 

“I received an email last night from a woman near Alki who I met while I was researching Bey,” she explained. “She said her friend had posted on Facebook about an eagle that needed help in Salmon Creek Raving. Her friend had not been able to get help from any organizations he called (typical scenario). She put us in contact and I arranged to arrive at daybreak, as it was already dark.”

When the naturalist arrived, the friend gave her the lat/long and she began hiking to assess the bald eagle. “The eagle had not moved much overnight, and was not flighted. It was, however, alert – it hopped and flapped quite a bit during capture.”

Muul then became suspicious that the bald eagle had HPAI, or, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (bird flu). This was due to the bird’s behavior. “The last three eagles I have responded to were positive for HPAI. There is no cure, and the infected bird dies in a couple of days. We are having a resurgence currently, because of migration. New species are being infected, like cackling geese and snow geese.”

Conservationist Rescues Bald Eagle & Takes It to Shelter

Muul ended up hiking out with the bald eagle and brought it to PAWS. During the intake exam, the bird was not “overtly” symptomatic of HPAI. So it wasn’t placed in quarantine. “This is good as it gives it a better chance. Hoping for a full recovery,” she explained. “At one point the eagle unhooded itself and it just stared in my eyes as we hiked. Whatever it communicated to me, dissolved any fear I had. I re-hooded it for its own comfort.”

Muul then reflected on holding the bald eagle in her arms. “I am always so utterly dumbfounded when I hold a wild animal in my arms. Especially one of such majestic magnitude. While stressful and often sad, my blessings are not lost on me.”

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the bald eagle experienced recovery as a result of the DDT removal from most of its range. Its population within the state is described as robust. “The species will continue to be an important and thriving part of our state’s natural diversity for the foreseeable future.”

The bald eagle is protected under three federal laws. They are the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.