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

ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre garden opening June 16

Virtual art exhibits and gift shop to come

A LOOK BACK: maritime history of Alberni Inlet

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with Alberni Valley Museum

EDITORIAL: It’s time for Canada to admit to its own racism

Make no mistake, racism exists in Canada.

UPDATE: Highway 4 reopens after police incident near Port Alberni

Highway between Port Alberni and the West Coast was briefly closed in both directions

ALBERNI GOLF: First scramble of the 2020 season a success

60 golfers participated in the J & L Mixed Scramble

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read