Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sheesh!!!!

Cindy asked me earlier today if I would mind picking up an eagle at 4:30 today. U.S.F.& W. was sending a toxic bird in via ERA Aviation. They wanted to send it last night, but weather wouldn't permit it. I have never told Cindy no before and she knew I wouldn't today. Chances are it would have been routine. Pick up bird, bring bird to clinic, examine bird, pump full of fluids and bed it down for the night. In and out in about an hour.

I arrived at Alaska Air Cargo right at 4:30. They handle
all freight for ERA when it comes through Anchorage. I have been there many times and know a lot of the girls who work they. Nice people! As I was checking in with a girl I've not seen before, one of the ladies I have dealt with before said "come with me, it's in the back and it's loose".

I followed her to the back and she pointed up. I looked up and there was a bald eagle
hanging upside down from a radiant heater. As I made it clear who I was the supervisors made their way over and were very helpful. I told them I needed something to get me up there. I ran to my truck and got a blanket. When I returned, the airport police and a couple guys from U.S. F. & W. showed up.

I took the F&W guy over to the forklift that was going to take us up to the bird and briefed him and the forklift operator on what we were going to do. The Alaska Air manager placed a strap around us and up we went. This bird had a talon stuck on one of the straps that hold the heaters shield in place. One of the employees had already turned the heater off.

As we got closer I gave my partner half the blanket and told him to grab the head and I would grab the free leg. This we did and then the other foot came free. I shouted I hope you have the head and grabbed the free leg with my other hand. The eagle taloned me slightly drawing a little blood, but just enough for a good war story. We got control of the bird and the forklift operator lowered us to the floor where we put him back in his kennel and zip tied the door closed.

I had to give a report to the airport policeman on duty, they notified U.S.F. & W. and A.D.F. & G. We are finally going to Bird TLC. I called Cindy and brought her up to date and told her we were finally on our way.

We got to the clinic, Cindy patched me up (there's a first) and then examined our eagle where we were joined by Greg. We pumped our eagle with 100cc of LR, a shot of dextrose and B12 and we bedded him down for the night. Unfortunately he's not looking too good. It was too late to give him any charcoal and we couldn't tube him since he wasn't standing on his own anymore. Please keep your fingers crossed and say a few words to the eagle gods tonight before you go to bed.

You can bet I'll never take an airport pick up for granted again. Sorry for no pictures. The bird wasn't in the mood for it.

6 comments:

Trixie said...

Holy Smoke! Too bad I wasn't there. I'll see if anyone from the warehouse has any pictures. I hope they all took care of you.

nina said...

Sheesh!

Dave said...

Trixie - Pix's would be nice. I had my hands full. :) I'm always treated good there.

Nina - That's what I thought.

Meggie said...

Oh my! What an experience! That poor eagle, hanging like that for how long...and being ill to begin with.... I will most certainly say a prayer to the eagle god tonight.

Dave said...

Meggie - the prays worked. When I visited today, he was standing up and was allert. I didn't expect him to last the night.

LauraHinNJ said...

Cripes... what a story! Glad you're so brave, Dave.

Glad, too, to read that this one survived the night and may well survive.