|Our feisty healthy bald eagle. Photo by Carmel B.|
Since GROWLS rescuers most often see eagles when they are sick or injured, they were surprised by the feistiness of the big, healthy five year old male with a broken wing. The cause of the injury has not been determined.
|Ready for transport. Photo by Carmel B.|
After capture he was taken to Twin Cedars Veterinary Clinic for the night before being transported the next day to Island Veterinary Hospital in Nanaimo where he was assessed and surgery was performed. Later the eagle was taken to North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington where he will recuperate in their 42.5 metre long rehabilitative flight cage - which I happened to see last weekend on my first visit to NIWRC.
Check it out here: www.niwra.org
During my visit, there were several eagles in the flight cage, a safe environment that gives a recuperating bald eagle the opportunity to regain strength and practice flying until it is healthy again before being returned (usually) to the location where it was found. Our feisty Gabriola eagle is just one of approximately 60 eagles admitted to the Centre each year, mostly with gun shot wounds, lead shot poisoning, injuries from car collisions, or suffering from starvation. He will - if all goes well - be returned to Gabriola in the future for release back to the wild near the spot where he was found.
In addition to the rehab flight cage for eagles, NIWRC runs the Museum of Nature (a fascinating educational museum), the Vancouver Island Black Bear Rehab Program, and a treatment centre. There is also a large public viewing area where non-releasable wildlife are cared for. They also offer a year round education program for schools and community groups and have a lovely Gift Shop where I found some great Christmas presents.