PROWLS: Rescue of the week

Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society helps conservation officer separate fighting eagles

DEATH GRIP: Two eagles were recently found locked together in a ditch in Lund. Local conservation officer Andrew Anaka called Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society president Merrilee Prior to help and waited there for her.

The eagles had already been there for a couple of hours and everyone thought the one on the bottom was dead.

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When Merrilee arrived she realized the one on the top had one foot on the other's head and one on the tail. The one on the bottom had the top one by a leg and a wing. They were both very much alive and still very, very angry.

Locked together in their hormonal rage, they were ready to die in that ditch.

Wearing gloves and holding blankets, Andrew and Merrilee fought to separate the eagles. When prying apart with screwdrivers did not work, pressure points on the thigh finally evoked release. One bit Merrilee and the other scraped Andrew's arm with a claw. It was very dangerous.

Having only one kennel with a faulty closing device and a heavy rubbermaid bin with a lid that did not fit, they finally transported the eagles back to PROWLS and carefully put them into separate kennels. The eagles were still enraged and dangerous.

After arranging to send them to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta via Pacific Coastal Airlines, they were given some salmon and left in peace to cool off. One was a young adult, and he had probably strayed into the territory of a nesting pair. The older eagle likely attacked him, with potentially deadly results all around.

Were they grateful? Of course not!

PROWLS looks forward to their return, when they will be released back in Lund.

Their incredibly strong grip is also evident during their courtship ritual when a pair, building their lifetime bond, will lock talons mid-air and tumble downward like a spinning cartwheel, sometimes even hitting the ground.

Contributed photo

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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