The American Bald Eagle symbolizes strength, long life, and most of all, freedom.
So, it’s no surprise that wildlife rescue centers across the country take their job very seriously when it comes to saving endangered bald eagles.
One of these majestic birds was saved last week in West Cape May, New Jersey following a territorial fight against a rival.
Authorities were informed about the brawl between the two eagles.
When the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) state biologist Kathy Clark arrived on scene, the pair was still attacking each other along side a residential street. She captured the most injured one while the other one escaped.
The bald eagle suffered from bruising and puncture wounds under its wings.
After extensive rehabilitation at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Inc. in Newark, Del., DEP decided to release it Tuesday at a remote wildlife management area in Winslow.
As onlookers waited for the bird’s release, authorities carried it in a covered cage, shielded from its audience. Once his cage door was opened, he immediately flew off into the distance.
“It was a quick turn-around for him,” said Sarah Tegtmeier of Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research. “The shorter we keep them in captivity, the better, but we won’t release them until they are ready.”
DEP believes that the fight was between two male bald eagles over a nesting area.
Clark says that territorial brawls between bald eagles are more common now that the population has grown since 2012.
The department decided to release the bird outside the location of its home because they wanted to avoid another similar incident.
“We hope he finds new territory, but chances are, he will go back to Cape May once he gets his bearings because he knows he does not live here. That will be his choice,” Clark said.
Watch the the video down below by NJ.com:
In another unrelated event, a bald eagle was found shot and wounded in a residential area near Oak Lawn, Illinois.
According to the Federal Migratory Bird Act, it is illegal to hunt bald eagles. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating more into the case as they assume someone deliberately shot the bird.
The bird went through surgery February and is currently recovering at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn.
Here is a story about the population of Tri-State Bald Eagles:
Image via Wikimedia Commons