Source: Sherman Publications

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Wounded bald eagle recovering

by David Fleet

March 02, 2011

The 5-year-old eagle wears a hood to help keep him calm. Photo provided.
A wounded bald eagle rescued from a Genesee County woodlot is on the mend.

That's the update from Julie Oakes, senior wildlife biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, who was part of a team that responded on Feb. 14 to the remote rural area after a call requesting help for the injured eagle. The eagle was found near Ray Road in Gaines Township, about 20 miles west of the village of Holly—just a few miles from Seven Lakes State Park and Holly Recreation Area.

The 5-year-old male bald eagle, which was shot in the wing, may have been residing in the Groveland Township and Holly area

"We believe the bird was shot on Feb. 11, 12 or 13," said Oakes. "When we first saw the bird he was very mobile and was racing across the fields. We planned on surrounding the bird, but he was just too fast. He was in pretty good shape."

Oakes, along with a team of re-habbers, falconers and bird curators from the Detroit Zoo, captured the bird and transported him to a facility in Monroe where Dave Hogan, a wildlife rehabilitator, is working with others from the Detroit Zoo to help the eagle recover.

Oakes said the bird remains in solitary confinement, but is eating and handling the ordeal quite well.

"There will be a new x-ray in about two weeks—we'll know more then," said Oakes. "The real issue is just how those bones are doing inside. Right now it appears they are healing just fine. If that's the case, then Hogan can start working to get the bird to fly once again. If not, then the eagle will be in captivity."

"So far we have not found the person or persons that shot the eagle," said Oakes. "But, we are receiving many tips regarding the crime."

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is urged to call the Michigan DNRE's Report all Poaching Hotline, 800-292-7800.