FWC Releases Bald Eagle Back Into Wild

By  //  June 10, 2014

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Eagle became entangled in monofilament line

ABOVE VIDEO: Sometimes it takes a TEAM to save an animal; thanks to 12-year-old Jacob Borders for finding the eagle, and so many others for their help and support. Lakeland Fire Department, Polk County Animal Services, FWC Wildlife Biologist Angeline Scotten, Wildlife Rehabber Joan Waters, Dr. Schotman, Polk County Environmental Lands facility, The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey along with an untold number of volunteers and local residents.

LAKELAND, FLORIDA –One beautiful morning, a healthy great American icon soared back into the wide open sky, to the freedom it represents.

Image courtesy of FWC
Image courtesy of FWC

The bald eagle’s release was accompanied by delighted shouts and loud applause from those involved in its rescue as well by the smiles of dozens of others gathered to witness the event. So it could find its way home, it was returned to the wild in a park very near to where it had been found, entangled in monofilament line and up a tree last month. Considering the effort to save the eagle involved a significant number of partners, wildlife rehabilitator Joan Waters nicknamed the bird TEAM, an appropriate acronym standing for Together, Everybody Achieves More!

Today’s release marked the final chapter of a  joint effort to save a bald eagle that was entangled in fishing line and hanging from a tree on May 14. FWC, Lakeland Fire Dept, Lakeland Parks and Recreation, the Polk County Animal Services and a local arborist worked together this morning to get the eagle free.

The eagle was hanging above a pond and apparently had been there since at least 6 a.m. When help arrived, the arborist cut the fishing line and the bird fell into the water. A firefighter in a kayak was waiting in the pond below and he quickly scooped the eagle up in a net. He then gave the eagle to the FWC biologist and the animal control officer who worked together to untangle the bird.

The eagle was immediately taken to a veterinarian. The bird didn’t have any fractures, but two feet of fishing line was found embedded in its carpal wing joint. The FWC biologist at the scene reported that the bird was responsive and alert. The eagle will be rehabilitated at a local wildlife rehab facility for its return to the wild.