This Golden Eagle was suffering from lead poisoning when it was found in February in Woodbury north of Nelson. Photo submitted

VIDEO: Golden Eagle released in Kootenays after being saved from poisoning

The eagle was discovered in February near Nelson

A Golden Eagle is back home in the skies above Kootenay Lake after an effort to save it from lead poisoning.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service posted a video Tuesday on Facebook of the eagle’s release from captivity.

The female raptor was spotted on Feb. 19 near Woodbury north of Nelson on the side of the lake by Evan MacDonald and Dan Britten.

The pair brought the eagle to Nelson Animal Hospital, where it was treated for two days before being flown to the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta.

Nelson veterinarian Leanne Sackney, who has experience working with raptors, said the bird had no signs of injury but was weak and not moving. That quickly changed.

“An eagle can be a little intimidating,” said Sackney. “They are great big birds and even just the couple days we had her she got quite a bit stronger, so I was grateful there is a rehab place that is trained for treating and caring for them.”

Sackney said blood tests showed the eagle was suffering from lead poisoning, which she added can be common in wildlife at this time of year when some hunters use lead shot or fishers have lead sinker weights.

“The [person] at OWL told me a piece of lead the size of a grain of rice can poison an eagle, and fairly quickly apparently.”

When the bird was healthy, it was returned to the Kootenays and released near the same spot it was found.

Conservation officer Nathan Smienk was among the small group assisting with the release. Smienk said he brought his family along to witness the event. Only moments after the eagle flew away from its cage it landed on a nearby rock and was joined by another Golden Eagle.

“I grew up here and it’s one of those things I don’t remember seeing as a kid and now they are starting to make a come back,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Sackney credited MacDonald and Britten for saving the eagle’s life.

“The really cool thing is these guys who cared enough to stop and pick up this large, intimidating bird,” she said. “There’s good people out there.”



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Christina Kubelka (left) and Mallory Kroeker were among the staff at the Nelson Animal Hospital who cared for the eagle for two days before it was sent to a rehab facility. Photo submitted

Just Posted

West Kelowna reopens beach volleyball, new pickleball courts

The City of West Kelowna is asking residents to maintain safe distancing

RDCO announces spring poetry contest winners

The district received 70 poems starting from May 1

Mother duck and babies rescued from Highway 97 in Lake Country

The mother and nine ducklings were taken to Duck Lake

Kelowna RCMP pull over vehicle with no licence plate, find drugs inside

Officers also responded to a white van in the West Kelowna Walmart parking lot with no insurance

Vehicle brings down light post on Westside Road Thursday evening

Incident occurred at the intersection of Westside Rd. and Seena Rd. at 7:50 p.m.

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Parts of the TCT through Princeton will open to motorized vehicles Monday

Parts of the KVR trail through Princeton will open for motorized vehicles… Continue reading

Partial return to class for Central Okanagan students: COVID-19

School District 23 and the Board of Education have released a letter regarding returning to class

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Chef brings farm-to-table approach to new Shuswap restaurant

Darren Bezanson opening Bistro 1460 at Hilltop Inn

Most Read