This Golden Eagle was suffering from lead poisoning when it was found in February in Woodbury north of Nelson. Photo submitted

VIDEO: Golden Eagle released in Kootenays after being saved from poisoning

The eagle was discovered in February near Nelson

A Golden Eagle is back home in the skies above Kootenay Lake after an effort to save it from lead poisoning.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service posted a video Tuesday on Facebook of the eagle’s release from captivity.

The female raptor was spotted on Feb. 19 near Woodbury north of Nelson on the side of the lake by Evan MacDonald and Dan Britten.

The pair brought the eagle to Nelson Animal Hospital, where it was treated for two days before being flown to the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta.

Nelson veterinarian Leanne Sackney, who has experience working with raptors, said the bird had no signs of injury but was weak and not moving. That quickly changed.

“An eagle can be a little intimidating,” said Sackney. “They are great big birds and even just the couple days we had her she got quite a bit stronger, so I was grateful there is a rehab place that is trained for treating and caring for them.”

Sackney said blood tests showed the eagle was suffering from lead poisoning, which she added can be common in wildlife at this time of year when some hunters use lead shot or fishers have lead sinker weights.

“The [person] at OWL told me a piece of lead the size of a grain of rice can poison an eagle, and fairly quickly apparently.”

When the bird was healthy, it was returned to the Kootenays and released near the same spot it was found.

Conservation officer Nathan Smienk was among the small group assisting with the release. Smienk said he brought his family along to witness the event. Only moments after the eagle flew away from its cage it landed on a nearby rock and was joined by another Golden Eagle.

“I grew up here and it’s one of those things I don’t remember seeing as a kid and now they are starting to make a come back,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Sackney credited MacDonald and Britten for saving the eagle’s life.

“The really cool thing is these guys who cared enough to stop and pick up this large, intimidating bird,” she said. “There’s good people out there.”



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

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

 

Christina Kubelka (left) and Mallory Kroeker were among the staff at the Nelson Animal Hospital who cared for the eagle for two days before it was sent to a rehab facility. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

RCMP report a violent attack on a woman in the North Shuswap

Woman beat up on side of road in Scotch Creek, perpetrator fled

Recycling depot at Salmon Arm landfill back in operation

Full bins and a lack of bags led to two service disruptions in the month of May

Public workers step up for Shuswap non-profits

$5,000 donation to be divided among Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Enderby support groups

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back

Students are set to go back to school next Monday, June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

Fundraiser launched for North Okanagan drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

Most Read