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Eagle released into the wild

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BERRIEN COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

An injured bald eagle was released back into the wild today in South Georgia.

Wildlife officials found the eagle three months ago and have been helping the bird regain it's strength. And now the eagle is finally strong enough to fend for itself in the wild.

It is not something you see everyday, a majestic bald eagle close enough to touch. The young male eagle was found injured at the Paradise Public Fishing Area in March.

"I noticed he was perched on the ground and not reacting to my presence, as I approached him, he went to fly, landed and then tumbled," says Blaine Tyler\Paradise Public Fishing Area Technician.

A wildlife rehabilitator transferred the bird to the Southeastern Raptor Center, part of Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

"We did various diagnostics, graphs, blood work, and other tests, and realized that he was just really emaciated, so he was just kind of starving to death, and because of that he was so weak he couldn't even balance," says Liz Crandall\Liz Crandall Raptor Rehabilitation Specialist.

He was socialized with other eagles and ate until he gained back his strength.

"Most young wildlife have a hard time surviving, it is hard to find their own territory, their own food, learning how to hunt and things like that, it is kind of hard," says Crandall.

He was nursed back to health and released to the sky today. "We came to look at the eagle so it could be released," says Andrew Crosby.

People came from all over to see the raptor up close. "His face sort of looked like it was fake, like from a movie or something like that," says Crosby.

At first glance you might not realize that this is a bald eagle because of the color of his feathers.

"They don't become sexually mature, or get their white head or white tail until they are about 4 to 7 years old depending on the geographic location," says Crandall.

Crandall says it is exciting to release an eagle back into the wild because most of the injured birds they come across never regain their strength to survive on their own.

"It is wonderful it is extremely rewarding we want to put them back in the wild where they belong," says Crandall.

Back in the wild, and back in Georgia.

Bald eagles are no longer on the endangered list, but they are protected under federal law.

 

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