From inside a kennel looking out over a field where she was born, ‘Crash’ readied her newly mended wing to return to her parent’s nest.
Wednesday, Nov. 7 marked the end of a three-and-a-half month recovery process for a young eagle who impaled her wing on a tree branch in a landing gone wrong on the morning of Tuesday, July 30. Neighbours who saw the desperate animal hanging by her wing managed to co-ordinate a daring rescue mission and organize a quick transport to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
While at the wildlife park, the injured eaglet was handed over to Tracy Reynolds, an animal care supervisor, and the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre. It was here the mandarin orange-sized hole in the eagle’s wing was stitched shut, and also where she received the unofficial name of ‘Crash.’
The recovery was not without its ups and downs though, said Reynolds. Crash’s wound developed an infection that proved to be resistant to a variety of antibiotics, but soon enough the correct medications were used and the infection was halted. The infection caused the original stitches to come out, increasing the recovery time.
Soon Crash was able to be released to the same backyard she was rescued from a few months earlier. On Wednesday, neighbours gathered to see Crash take to the open air once more immediately after the gate to her kennel was removed. Upon release, Crash banked to the left and landed safely on a nearby rooftop. She eventually made her way up to a branch just below her parents’ nest and could be heard calling out to them.
“I can’t predict whether or not [Crash’s parents] will acknowledge her at this stage because it is later in the season. Mostly the babies have fledged and moved off, but they do hang around,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds went on to say the release went perfectly and that Crash exceeded all expectations. One thing Reynolds finds particularly interesting about this case is that the incident was in no way human caused. Usually she helps animals that have been injured directly or indirectly by humans. In this case the eagle got hurt on its own and humans helped her recovery from start to finish.