HomeOutdoorsViralGolden Eagle Rescued and Rehabilitated in Utah Returns to the Wild

Golden Eagle Rescued and Rehabilitated in Utah Returns to the Wild

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Back on February 28 of this year, a golden eagle fell to the ground on the side of a Fredonia, Arizona road after it suffered an injury. However, on November 19, after months of care and rehabilitation in Utah, the eagle was nursed back to life.

The bird was in critical condition upon discovery. It was quickly transported to Wild Friends at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. There, veterinarians performed emergency surgery after stabilizing the eagle.

X-rays showed a thin pouch in the eagle’s throat that contained an unknown substance. It was also treated for lead poisoning.

Then, veternarians performed a second surgery on the eagle when its crop (the pouch on the front of the bird’s neck) came through the first surgery’s stitches. This led to over a month of intensive care for the bird.

However, once it had recovered from both surgeries, the center focused on rebuilding the raptor’s weakened flight muscles. The healing process took a lot of time for the bird. It managed 1-2 laps around the flight building in Kanab initially. However, over several months of rehab, the bird could soar eight laps around the building without stopping.

Arizona Fish and Game selected Gunsight Point, Arizona, as the release site for the newly rehabilitated golden eagle. Gunsight Point is about 30 miles from where the injured eagle was first found.

Staff with Best Friends and Arizona Fish and Game watched as the golden eagle was released. It soared into the air, and then it disappeared into the surrounding red rock cliffs, never to be seen again.

Luckily for this eagle, he returned to a life in the wild after the help of Wild Friends and wildlife officials.

Group That Rescued Golden Eagle Gives Advice on Helping Injured Animals

The golden eagle is the most extensively studied species of raptor in the world, and they’re the most widely distributed type of eagle.

They’re huge raptors, coming in at 26-40 inches in length, and we anticipate the one found in Arizona to be one the larger side. Its wings are broad; its wingspan is 1.8 5 ft 11 inches to 7 ft 8 inches.

Wild Friends released many tips on what to do if you find injured wildlife like the injured golden eagle. They said to first find your closest wildlife rehab center at AHNow.org. Wild Friends said most wildlife centers can offer real-time assistance.

The group also said most people will want the animal to be contained, so finding a box, net, etc. is key. They also said to take extra care of the animal’s beak and feet.

Some centers have after-hours numbers, but if they don’t, you can call the Wild Friends 24/7 line. They also said that in some cases, the animal may be too dangerous to corral or keep. If that’s the case, you should call your local Department of Wildlife Resources or Department of Natural Resources.

Wild Friends also advises people to stay with the animal so it doesn’t leave or come into contact with other animals.

They also remind everyone that keeping wildlife is illegal and dangerous, but they add that most centers provide a grace period of 48 hours before seizing the animal and charging a fine. They remind that you can even potentially be jailed for keeping wildlife.