Crash recovering at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops. (BC Wildlife Park)

Crash the eagle back in the air in Salmon Arm after recovering from injured wing

Raptor’s recuperation after impaling wing on tree branch takes longer than expected

From inside a cage looking out over a field where she was born, Crash readied her newly mended wing to return to her parent’s nest.

Wednesday, Nov. 7 marked the end of a three-and-a-half month recovery process for the young eaglet who impaled her wing on a tree branch in a landing gone wrong July 30. Neighbours who saw the desperate bird hanging by her wing managed to co-ordinate a daring rescue mission and organize a quick transport to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops.

Read more: Video: Salmon Arm residents rise to challenge of rescuing eagle impaled on branch

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While at the wildlife park, the injured eaglet was handed over to Tracy Reynolds, an animal care supervisor, and the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre. It was there the mandarin orange-sized hole in the eagle’s wing was stitched shut, and where she received the name of Crash.

The recovery was not without its ups and downs though, said Reynolds. Crash’s wound developed an infection that proved to be resistant to a variety of antibiotics, but with medication, the infection was halted. The infection caused the original stitches to come out, increasing the recovery time.

Soon Crash was able to be released to the same backyard she was rescued from a few months earlier. On Wednesday, neighbours gathered to see the bird take to the open air once again, immediately after the gate to her cage was removed. Upon release, Crash banked to the left and landed safely on a nearby rooftop. She eventually made her way up to a branch just below her parents’ nest and could be heard calling out to them.

Read more: Fishermen on lake near Salmon Arm get up close and personal with eagle

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“I can’t predict whether or not [Crash’s parents] will acknowledge her at this stage because it is later in the season. Mostly, the babies have fledged and moved off, but they do hang around,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds went on to say the release went perfectly and Crash exceeded all expectations.

One thing Reynolds found particularly interesting about this case was that the incident was in no way human caused.

Usually she helps animals that have been injured directly or indirectly by humans. In this case the eagle got hurt on its own and humans helped her recovery from start to finish.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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Dr. Fiona Reid tends to Crash’s wing at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops. (BC Wildlife Park)

After a branch made a fist-sized hole in the eagle’s wing, the bird was rescued and transported to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops. (Photo submitted)

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