Bald Eagle Released Into Wild Two Months After Getting Caught in Fishing Line

by Jennifer Shea

A bald eagle who got tangled in some fishing wire this September finally flew free again on Saturday.

It took two months of rehabilitation before the eagle was ready to fly again, Lancaster Online reported. The bird had become caught in the fishing wire up in a tree. She was hanging by one wing when game officials found her.

Eagle in Distress

On Thursday, Sept. 3, a pedestrian walking near the Conestoga River at Lancaster County Park saw the eagle hanging from the wire. That person called Lancaster County Parks, who reached out to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, according to a Facebook post by the Raven Ridge Wildlife Center.

But the game commission soon realized they were in over their heads. So Stage Game Warden Daniel Gibble called in the Conestoga Volunteer Fire Company and Raven Ridge.

“It’s an abnormal call, but we assisted and made it happen,” Conestoga fire chief Larry Frankford, Jr. told Lancaster Online.

Officials thought the bird was dead at first. But she rousted herself quickly when they revved up the chainsaw to bring down the tree in which the wire and the bird were tangled. Wildlife experts then paddled out in a boat to catch the bird when she fell from the tree.

A Unique Sight

Raven Ridge founder Tracie Young told Lancaster Online the 11-pound female eagle is “bigger, stronger and meaner” than a male eagle. The wildlife center kept the eagle in a quiet and stress-free environment for a couple of months until they were ready to release her.

Bald eagles dropped off the endangered or threatened lists in Pennsylvania in 2014. However, Young said they still get a lot of calls to help injured eagles.

When it was finally time to set the bird free, staffers from Raven Ridge and the Conestoga Volunteer Fire Company who had helped save the bird gathered to watch her fly again.

“To see an eagle take off is a memory you’ll never forget,” Young said.