LONGVIEW, Wash. – A bald eagle that was severely injured by lead poisoning was released back into the wild Friday in Longview, Wash. The eagle was found poisoned near Longview in May after eating the remains of an animal that had been shot with lead ammunition.
It was taken to the Wildlife Care Center at the Portland Audubon Society where veterinarians spent three months nursing the eagle back to health.
The eagle was originally scheduled to be released into the wild in late August, but veterinarians discovered that the eagle had sustained a soft-tissue injury while flying in the Portland Audubon's off-site flight cage.
It became clear this week that the eagle's injury had healed.
"It's in the eagle's best interest to release him as quickly as possible, said Portland Audubon veterinarian Deb Sheaffer.
The eagle took flight Friday afternoon.
“It’s always exciting to release rehabilitated wildlife, but particularly so in this case,” said Sheaffer. “The eagle was just so sick when it arrived at our door, and staff and volunteers have put many hundreds of hours into caring for the bird – it’s very rewarding to see him head back into the wild.”
Background: Eagle treated for lead poisoning