After a branch made a fist-sized hole in the eagle’s wing, the bird was rescued and transported to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops. (Photo submitted)

Video: Salmon Arm residents rise to challenge of rescuing eagle impaled on branch

Injured raptor now under care of BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops

An expansive community effort led to a daring, successful rescue of a young eagle.

At approximately 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30, Susie Lorenz and her Salmon Arm neighbours were horrified to see a young eagle had impaled its wing on a tree branch and was dangling from it 80 feet in the air.

Read more: Osprey nest in downtown Salmon Arm will remain until new year

Read more: VIDEO: Ducks on the road? Waddle they do?

Lorenz and neighbours spent several hours calling every animal rescue organization they could think of, even calling the fire department and the RCMP. Unfortunately, none of the organizations contacted had the ability to get the eagle down. The tree itself was on a steep hill, making it difficult to reach by a firetruck’s ladder or a bucket truck.

Another neighbour who had been watching the drama unfold contacted her son Mike McPherson who worked for Glen Power. McPherson brought his hydro pole climbing equipment. It took about an hour for him to make the ascent. When he reached the branch, he lowered the eagle down using rope tied to the bird’s feet before descending from the tree himself.

Just a few hours earlier, Carmen Huebner, Susie Lorenz’ neighbour, reached out to a Shuswap Facebook group and asked for help. The post garnered hundreds of reactions and commenters offered many suggestions. Eventually, a friend of Lorenz saw the Facebook post and put Lorenz in contact with a former employee of the Kamloops Wildlife Park who was willing to transport the bird to Kamloops.

“It really was a community effort, everybody on Facebook was giving recommendations and advice and ideas of places to call to get help,” Lorenz said. “It was a group effort for sure, community and neighbours.”

The eagle arrived in Kamloops just after 4 p.m. where Tracy Reynolds, the animal care manager for the BC Wildlife Park, was waiting with a veterinarian on standby. Once in Reynolds’ care the eagle was given pain medication as well as antibiotics. On Wednesday, July 31, the eagle was taken to a veterinarian for x-rays and to get the fist-sized hole left by the branch stitched up.

Read more: Shuswap woman seeks new legs, feet for beloved pet duck and chicken

Read more: B.C. sculptor depicts epic eagle battle in latest piece that took 2,500 hours

“We will do everything we can to give it the best chance at recovery,” Reynolds said. “This is not something the animal could have recovered from; it would have 100 per cent gotten infected.”

Reynolds says the eagle, considered only a fledgling, is otherwise healthy. During the recovery process, the bird’s movement will be restricted as the injury heals. If all goes well the bird could make a full recovery in one month but will likely take longer.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Increase in Shuswap bear sightings prompts reminder about attractants

Animal-resistant trash bins not sufficient to keep bears out warns Conservation Officer Service

Chef brings farm-to-table approach to new Salmon Arm restaurant

Darren Bezanson opening Bistro 1460 at Hilltop Inn

Gas prices rising across the Okanagan, Shuswap

Prices at some gas stations in the Okanagan sit around 115 cents a litre

Salmon Arm RCMP will be patrolling school zones on June 1 when some students return

Police remind drivers fines for speeding in a school zone start at $196 and range up to $483

Sicamous district office reopening with new COVID-19 policies

The office will be open again on June 1.

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Non-food vendors coming back to Kelowna farmers’ market this weekend

The Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market is welcoming back several artisans on Saturday

Improper waste disposal leaves Okanagan worker with serious injury

The city’s waste collection contractor has seen two incidents of improper disposal in as many weeks

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

Coldstream boat launches closed due to high water

All boat launches at the north end of Kalamalka Lake have been closed effective immediately

LETTER: Be aware of telephone scam

Call about vehicle warranty raised suspicions

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Strong thunderstorms expected for Shuswap, Okanagan this weekend

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement with storms expected late Saturday

Most Read