PROWLS: Rescue of the week

Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society attempts to save injured eagle

Lying on her front and side, this large female eagle was wedged under a deck at Scuttle Bay. Only her feet, legs and one wing were visible.

The loser in a fight with another eagle, she had plummeted out of the sky, crashing through a thick fir canopy 80 feet above ground, then hit the ground hard by a corner of the deck. Struggling to get upright, she wedged herself under the deck, where she lay overnight, and possibly longer.

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When the homeowner noticed her struggle, she called Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) president Merrilee Prior. By grabbing its legs, Merrilee was able to slowly wiggle her out.

With her head and one eye covered in mud and one wing showing exposed bone, the eagle did not look good. Once wrapped in a heavy blanket, carried uphill and placed in a large kennel in the car, she blinked in surprise and approval to acknowledge her improved situation. Her delight to finally be able to stand upright was briefly visible.

Back at PROWLS, Merrilee cleaned and treated the exposed bone to keep it viable and washed the muddy eye with saline solution before placing the eagle on the next Pacific Coastal Airlines flight (prior to service cancellations) to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta. Further examination revealed puncture wounds from another eagle’s talons, a head wound, blood loss and the wounded wing which, although not broken, was wrecked. The skin was split open and both wing bones were exposed.

With so much damage, OWL, even though specialists in raptor care, was unable to save her. Eagles will fight.

PROWLS is still open for injured and orphaned wildlife and is included in the essential service designation. The organization will be answering calls and collecting and treating wildlife while practising proper social distancing.


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