Eagle released back into the wild at Lake Park

| September 6, 2019

COSHOCTON – On July 23, Shane Pyle, a category one permitted rehabber, was contacted by ODNR who said they had received a call from the sheriff’s office with a report that a Bald Eagle had been found stranded on the US Highway 36 close to Wal-Mart. On Friday, Sept. 6, the eagle was able to be released back into the wild at Lake Park.

At about 2 p.m., the sheriff’s department received a call that there was an injured goose on the highway. Deputy Mark Sharrock responded to the scene and saw that it wasn’t a goose. He spent about an hour with his cruiser between the injured bird and traffic so it wouldn’t get hit.

“She [The bird] didn’t seem aggressive,” said Sharrock. “I thought it had been hit by a vehicle. Now you can see she’s back in the wild, which is great.”

Sharrock called the game warden to come and help the bird get back on her feet.

“It was very easy to catch,” said Pyle. “It was evident that this was a very sick bird that allowed me to approach it. I took a blanket and draped it over the bird, wrapped it up, and put it in my carrier.”

Pyle then contacted the Ohio Wildlife Center and took the bird to his office where he made sure it was hydrated and checked it over for any broken bones.

“There I found out that it still had some strength left in him as it grabbed onto my arm with one of its talons,” said Pyle.

It was then transported to the Ohio Wildlife Center Hospital in Dublin where it was examined by a veterinarian. Blood tests were administered to determine if the bird had West Nile Virus. That test came back negative, but it was anemic and needed rehabilitation before going back out into the wild.

Once at the Ohio Wildlife Center, it was determined that the bird was under two years old and although a DNA gender test revealed the bird was a male, all other signs pointed to it being female. The bird was completely emaciated and lethargic. Other results of the blood test determined that the bird’s liver levels were abnormal, and the eagle had been ill for quite some time.

“We did a lot of care getting the nutritional levels back up and he started to perk up pretty quickly,” said Casey Philips, Wildlife Hospital Director. “It takes quite a bit to drop to the body mass that he had. He was pretty far down and had been sick for quite some time. We administered fluids and supportive care, and we also did a couple of rounds of tube feeding.”

After about a week in intensive care, the bird moved into the center’s pre-release facility with another eagle where he started building up his flight muscles.

On Friday, Sept. 6, the eagle was able to be released back into the wild just a few miles from where he was found.

“They always impress me because when they come into care, they’re so ill and it’s sad to see them like that,” said Philips. “You never quite know what their full strength was before they got sick, so you don’t know what to expect at the release, but he just took off. To see them being released, when you’re working in a field with ill animals, it’s great. You remember why you do it all.”

The Ohio Wildlife Center also released another eagle back into the wild on Saturday, Sept. 7 in Circleville.

“We get a lot of questions asking if we go out looking for injured wildlife, but it’s other people acting on behalf of the wildlife all over the place,” said Philips. “We’re just there to be the resource of professional care.”

As soon as the eagle was released, he took flight instantly and flew over Lake Park and out State Route 83.

“This is the pinnacle when you think about a bird being rehabilitated, to have a Bald Eagle is a dream come true,” said Pyle. “To know that we were a part of this collaborative effort and to see it being released back into the wild is very gratifying.”

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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