A juvenile bald eagle is soaring above the West Coast again after spending several months recovering at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington.
The centre’s Animal Care Supervisor Tawny Molland arrived with the young bird on Sept. 30 and released it off an Hitacu beach, alongside volunteers from the Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network.
“It’s a great success story,” Molland told the Westerly News after the release. “When they come in, they’re injured, they’re down and then to be able to rehab them and be able to release them into the wild, it’s full circle. It’s something that’s truly amazing.”
The eagle was discovered covered in a mysterious substance and unable to fly near Ucluelet’s Brown’s Beach in March and the residents who spotted it reached out to the Coastal Animal Rescue and Education Network for help. CARE volunteer Tara Wood swooped into action, capturing the animal and transporting it to Errington for treatment.
READ MORE: Downed eagle rescued in Ucluelet
“They have been absolutely truly amazing this summer, helping me out and bringing injured and orphaned animals to the centre,” Molland said of the CARE Network. “I can call on them anytime.”
She said the substance that downed the eagle was never identified, but the bird was bathed and checked for other injuries before building up its strength in the centre’s flight cage.
“He was good to go…I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well,” she said adding the fall season provides the perfect conditions for the once-again-wild animal to thrive. “We know that there’s going to be a good food source for him and there’s lots of other eagles around, so we know that this is a good time for him to go,” she said.
She added that she was happy to invite CARE Network volunteers to witness Sunday’s release.
“A lot of people don’t ever get the chance to actually see an eagle being released back into the wild. It is pretty amazing,” she said.
CARE co-founder James Rodgers said the network sends dozens of animals to Errington for treatment each year.
“It was a very exciting day,” he said. “Days like today can be fairly emotional. It’s great to have these positive events. So often we’re dealing with very sad circumstances…So, to have days like today where we can come out and be together under happy circumstances, in this beautiful place we all call home, really makes it all worthwhile.”
Anyone interested in supporting the CARE Network’s efforts should check out their Facebook page at
www.Facebook.com/CoastalAnimalRescue or their website at www.Care.ca.
“We’re a group of neighbours that are concerned for animals and their well-being as well as the well-being of those animals’ families,” Rodgers explained.