Sunday, February 07, 2010

Trapped Golden Eagle

On Thursday afternoon I received a call from our local USF&W Office of Law Enforcement requesting assistance recovering an eagle caught in a leg trap outside of Glennallen. After making a few calls to Bird TLC volunteers, no one was available on such short notice, so I decided to take a days vacation and make the trip.

Our USF&W agent was in Fairbanks and would travel down and meet me at the Eureka Lodge. His trip was about 5 hours and mine was about 3. We were to meet with an Alaska State Trooper and recover the bird. Because of our travel time, the local trooper recruited some help from the local Bureau of Land Management agent and they traveled about 8 miles by snowmachine in the -10°f mountain area to recover the bird.

We meet them on the roadside and transferred the bird into my truck for a trip back to Anchorage. It's right leg still had the trap attached just above the foot. The trap and foot were engulfed in ice, so at that time it was impossible to get the trap off.

In my Durango, the bird had a chance to warm up on the 3 hour trip back. As I got back on the highway I called PET ER and gave them a heads up that we were going to be there around 6PM and will need assistance. Dr. Doty who is their best avian DVM was off that day but decided to come in to assist.
When we arrived we got the bird out of the kennel and immediately stated running cold water over the trap and foot to thaw them out. It took two people to open the trap so I could pull the foot out. The wound was cleaned and x-rays were taken.
The x-rays showed the only bone damage was a broken hallux. The large gash above the foot was sutured closed and antibiotics and pain medication was given. Our main concern for the next few days is if there is blood circulation in the foot.

A grateful thank you to the Alaska State Trooper and BLM agent in Eureka, the USF&W Law Enforcement officer from Anchorage but who traveled down from Fairbanks. Their names I won't post because this might be a criminal case. Those guys went above and beyond in my opinion. Thanks also to PET ER who's always a big help and Dr. Doty from breaking away during her off time to help tend to this gorgeous bird. Also, thanks to the kind ladies at the Eureka Lodge who kept me entertained and full of coffee while I waited.

Dr. Doty and I checked in on our golden today. It's more alert and standing on its ow., but the injured foot is very cold still.

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4 comments:

robin andrea said...

What a fantastic rescue of this magnificent bird, Dave. The good deeds you all do are incredibly admirable. I hope this beautiful golden recovers completely.

More Cowbell said...

Just read about this on Mudflats and made a donation; I wish it could be more! Thanks for the work you do. Hope this beautiful bird makes it.

Meggie said...

Positive thoughts coming your way for the healing of this beautiful bird. I'll have to tell Ashley that you were in Glennallen for the recovery. It's where she did her internship.

Dave said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words and donations. Unfortunately the golden didn't make it.