Rescue for a Hero: Blind Bald Eagle Stranded in River Receives Vital Assistance for Recovery and Renewal

A group of kayakers was floating along the Susquehanna River in Maryland when they spotted someone strange washed up on the bank of the river, tangled in debris. They paddled over to get a closer look — and were shocked to realize the stranded animal was actually a bald eagle.

It was clear that the eagle was hurt and couldn’t fly away on his own, so the kayakers quickly contacted Susquehannock Wildlife Society, who sent research assistant John Garrison and his coworker Madison Lundon down to the river to help the poor guy.

“[They] scaled down onto the rocks and rescued the eagle,” Scott McDaniel, of Susquehannock Wildlife Society, told The Dodo. “It was worn out and didn’t put up much of a fight.”

As his rescuers carefully brought him to safety, the eagle was surprisingly calm, and it was as if he knew they were there to help him.

The eagle was weak and disoriented when he was pulled out of the river, and just by looking at him, his rescuers could tell he needed medical attention and lots of care. He was immediately taken to Chadwell Animal Hospital, which specializes in caring for injured wildlife.

Once the eagle was all settled in at the hospital and ready to be examined, the veterinarian made a shocking discovery — the poor eagle was actually blind, which is likely how he became stranded in the first place.

“The veterinarian, Dr. Keith Gold, assessed the eagle and determined that it was developing cataracts that had impaired its vision, likely resulting in difficulty for it to hunt and fly,” McDaniel said. “The cataracts are suspected to have just developed with old age.”

Although he was unable to see his rescuers and his surroundings, the eagle wasn’t frightened. He remained calm throughout everything, allowing staff to examine and treat him with no problem whatsoever.

Unfortunately, due to his blindness, the eagle will not be released back into the wild, as he won’t be able to survive on his own without his vision. Instead, he was transported to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Delaware, where he’ll be able to live out his days in peace, not having to worry about getting stuck and stranded ever again.


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