A man climbed a 95-foot pole to rescue an eaglet at the National Arboretum after it was injured.
The same man returned the eaglet to its nest Thursday night after it was treated for the injury.
Arborist Matthew Morrison says it was a “privilege” to climb a 95-foot National Arboretum tree Thursday to rescue an injured baby eagle. Viewers of a webcam trained on the nest noticed the eaglet had its right leg jammed. Born March 29th, the eaglet is known as “DC4.”
“I think that the eaglet was uncomfortable being stuck in that position for hours,” said Morrison who knelt in the nest in order to make the rescue. A live stream showed Morrison gently wiggle the eaglet's leg free before placing the bird in a sack.
“It was life or death,” said American Eagle Foundation founder Al Cecere. The organization, which operates this and many other eagle webcams across the country, recieved approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to intervene with nature taking its course. “If you have the power in your hands to help I think sometimes you just have to step forward and help.”
The eaglet was transported to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore where a veterinarian found some swelling and an abrasion, but otherwise a clean bill of health. So Friday evening, Morrison scaled the tall tree again to return the eaglet to its nest.
As the eaglet nestled up with its siblings, Morrison bent over and kissed the bird of prey on the top of its head. “It just seemed natural,” he said. “I gave him a good wish.”
The baby eagles are the third and fourth offspring of the famous D.C. bald eagle pair, Mr. President and The First Lady. They first nested in 2015 and are the first eagles to nest at the Arboretum since 1947.
You can watch the live feed here.