Golden eagle soars after 4 week rehabMEDORA — A golden eagle was anxious to spread its wings at Wind Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Tuesday, Dakota Zoo officials said. After four weeks of rehabilitation, officials gave the bird one final thrust into the skies and watched it soar over the park.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
MEDORA — A golden eagle was anxious to spread its wings at Wind Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Tuesday, Dakota Zoo officials said. After four weeks of rehabilitation, officials gave the bird one final thrust into the skies and watched it soar over the park.
“This is probably the most rambunctious eagle that we have had,” Dakota Zoo Director said.
The eagle was found near Bowman. Lincoln said the bird was thin and unable to fly, but there were no signs it had been shot down or was sick.
“One thing is we caught it pretty quick after the onset of whatever it was,” Lincoln said, adding the zoo still didn’t know what caused the bird to become so thin.
Lincoln said the bird was in good condition and could be rehabilitated. It was taken to the Dakota Zoo where staff members fed it and got it flying again. After three weeks, Lincoln knew the bird was ready to be released back to the wild.
“Sometimes we get birds that are missing two inches of muscles,” Lincoln said. “Four weeks is really quick.”
Several park visitors came to see the bird fly away. For one visitor it was the first time seeing an eagle released.
“It was exhilarating,” said Elizabeth Thomas, Texas. “Your heart goes with them, and you hope and pray it goes well.”
Park officials were glad that the bird was being released
into the park. Eileen Andes, Theodore Roosevelt National
Park Chief of Interpretations, said the park was a great setting for the eagle.
“It’s really exciting to see a rehabilitated bird released into the wild,” Andes said. “The park provides a lot of good habitat, and it’s a great opportunity to have rehabilitated wildlife here.”
Andes said this is the fourth eagle released into the park this year, adding it is a special occasion that doesn’t happen often.
Lincoln said the chances of the eagle surviving are pretty good. He added the bird is strong and is able to eat. The rest is up to nature.
“We do what we can to rehabilitate it,” Lincoln said. “Then we put them back out and the rest is up to it.”
Releasing eagles back into the wild never gets old, Lincoln said. He said he worries about the birds at first, but he knows it is right.
“You think, ‘where is the bird?’ at first, but you come back the next day and its gone,” Lincoln said. “You just know it is right. This is much more rewarding when you can release them.”