A bald eagle that was facing a slow death was rescued in part by an alert golden retriever named Kenai. Here’s how the beautiful bird was saved by a dog.
Pam Weber and her friend Kerrie Burns were hiking along the Sucker River near Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota when Kenai spotted a lone bald eagle lying in the brush.
When the dog began barking, and wouldn’t stop, the two women proceeded to find out why. What they saw must have been somewhat of a shock.
Burns said, “Shortly after this the eagle hopped out of the vegetation down to the shore line. She fortunately has been trained not to chase wildlife. Once she alerted me and I saw what she was looking at she stopped barking.”
When the eagle didn’t fly away, they knew something wasn’t right, but what that was wasn’t immediately clear. As the eagle continued to hop away they realized that it wasn’t doing any good to follow it.
Burns said, “At this point we retreated and walked home, both because it was getting dark and because it was too icy to safely proceed” When they returned the next day and the bird was still there, they knew that it was time to call the Minnesota DNR.
After the capture was made with an assist from the Department of Natural Resources the pair took the injured eagle to Wildwoods, a wildlife rehab center in the city of Duluth. The big eagle was found to have a shoulder injury, which they treated in part with fluids and pain medication.
Also suspected by Wildwoods was that the eagle was suffering from lead poisoning. According to Wildwoods, this happens “like most of the eagles we get this time of year, during and after deer hunting season.” The source of the poisoning usually comes from eagles eating the remains of animals shot, but never harvested by the hunter. A small amount of lead is all it takes to cause sickness.
Since the Wildwoods facility relies on wildlife rehabilitators using their own homes to treat animals, the rehab process could go only so far. The bird has since been relocated to The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota where the lead poisoning was confirmed along with a heart murmur and a swollen shoulder.
The bird’s recovery will be a slow process, but whatever issues it may face while it heals pale in comparison to the slow death it faced of starvation if left in the wild. Luckily for this bald eagle, Kenai the golden retriever was on the ball during a walk that probably saved the bird’s life.
Photos via Facebook/Wildwoods