Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King points to a juvenile bald eagle shortly after its release in the Cowichan Valley following its recovery from being poisoned. Three more eagles are still recovering. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

VIDEO: Recovery and release of poisoned eagles continues in Cowichan Valley

Second bird set free, three more remain in care

The mother and daughter who discovered the first two of what ultimately turned out to be 12 poisoned bald eagles in the Cowichan Valley had the opportunity on Thursday afternoon to watch the release of one of the birds.

Deb Cvitanovich spotted the first eagle as she left for work on the morning of Jan. 16, and had her daughter, Deana, call rescuers when it was still in the same place as she left for school. A second bird was found on their property later that day, and 10 more were located in the area four days later. In all, six live eagles and six dead eagles were found.

The first eagle that recovered was returned to the wild last Sunday, and the second was released on Thursday.

It was an emotional moment for the Cvitanoviches as they watched the bird fly off.

“It was really neat to see that dog crate door open with that eagle in it, and it just took off, happy and healthy,” Deb said. “So nice to see it go into the wild. I almost needed the Kleenex, but I’m OK now.”

“It’s really cool to see it back out there where it belongs,” Deana added.

Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King had the honour of opening the cage to set the eagle free on Thursday.

“We’re really happy with how it turned out,” he said. “Nice strong flight. He found a good perch, and we’re happy with that.”

READ MORE: Positive prognosis for poisoned Cowichan Valley eagles

Of the six eagles that were found alive, two have now been released, one passed away in care up-Island, and the other three are still recovering.

“We’ve got two more up there under the care of North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre,” King explained. “Just while they stretch their wings and stay under observation as we make sure that after the poisoning symptoms fade that there’s no secondary issues that crop up, various injuries or complications that might have occurred.”

READ MORE: 12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Another bird remains in care at the Duncan facility, and will probably take longer to recover as he sustained wrist trauma prior to his rescue.

“We figure he either took a hard landing out of a tree or bumped into something as he came down because of his poor condition,” King said.

The birds are believed to have fed off the carcass of a euthanized farm animal that was not properly disposed of. An investigation by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service is underway. Conservation officers were not available for comment on Thursday.

Anyone who finds a dead or sick eagle should contact the Raptor Rescue Society at 778-936-0732.



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.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

Just Posted

Missing Port Alberni man found deceased

47-year-old had been missing since late June: RCMP

Longtime volunteer retires from Port Alberni’s Abbeyfield House

Doreen Bissette honoured for two decades of volunteerism

Savard prevails with best gross score at Alberni Golf Club

Men’s club prepares for ‘waltz’ on July 12

EDITORIAL: We need to check our ‘plate hate’

Suspicious border activity can be reported

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Most Read