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Golden eagle released in the wild after nine months of rehabilitation

A golden eagle begins to fly as it's let out of a carrier in a dusty field. A person stands by the carrier.
Best Friends Animal Society
St. George News

A golden eagle was released back into the wild after nine months at a Utah wildlife rehabilitation program.

The eagle was found critically injured on a roadside in Arizona in late February and brought to the Best Friend Animal Society’s Wild Friends program in Kanab, Utah. They diagnosed the bird with lead poisoning, which had caused major digestive issues, and performed multiple surgeries.

Nine months later, after intense training to re-train the eagle’s atrophied muscles, it was released back into the wild in Arizona.

A common way eagles get lead poisoning is by scavenging animal remains left by hunters, so the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is encouraging hunters to switch to copper bullets.

When encountering injured wildlife on the road, Wild Friends suggests calling the closest wildlife rehabilitation center for assistance and staying with the animal to prevent it from leaving the scene or encountering other animals.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.