A juvenile eagle is released after being cared for at Wild ARC.

A juvenile eagle is released after being cared for at Wild ARC.

Helping hand allows eagle to fly free

Mud-encrusted juvenile eagle would have perished without aid of human

His daughters think he’s a hero, but Andy England said he was just doing the right thing.

A juvenile bald eagle was released in Sooke on June 13 around 2 p.m. after receiving rehabilitative care at the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC).

Sooke resident Andy England, found the distressed eagle submerged in mud on the morning of June 4.

England was performing regular duties at work, around the Butler Brothers property near 6228 Sooke Road, when he spotted the young, male eagle stuck up to its neck in mud, with its wings outstretched over the surface.

He quickly decided to free the eagle, and placed a towel over its head so he could loosen the clay-like mud around its body. England then tucked its wings inward and wrapped the bird in his jacket.

“He kind of just looked at me kind of dejected-like, like ‘Look at what I’ve done to myself,’ England said, adding the bird-of-prey was too exhausted to fight back.

It is suspected the eagle was after a deer carcass that was also submerged in the mud, which England removed to ensure other animals would not end up in the same predicament.

England took the bird to Wild ARC, where the eagle was cleaned up, warmed up, fed and cared for by rehabilitation workers for just over a week until its release.

“There was probably about five pounds of mud,” said Christina Carrieres, senior wildlife rehabilitator. “There was a thick layer covering basically almost his entire body.”

The eagle did not suffer from any other injuries other then exposure to the elements and exhaustion.

Carrieres said the eagle was placed in a large flight pen, and when it appeared to fly well, the decision was made to release it in the same place it was found.

She stated that had England not intervened, the eagle would have died.

“That eagle would’ve definitely died, he wouldn’t have survived.”

When asked why he took the time to save the eagle, England simply stated, “It was the right thing to do. It was kind of defenceless, and if I didn’t get him out of there he probably would’ve been eaten by the turkey vultures and the ravens that hang around here.”

The eagle, estimated to be about two years old with a wing span of under two metres, took a strong and quick flight when set free.

Carrieres commended England for his good deed, but his greatest admirers were clearly his two daughters Coral, 7, and Tamara, 10, who hugged their father after witnessing the bird’s release, proudly proclaiming, “Dad, you’re a hero.”

Wild ARC is mainly funded by donations, and receives no funding from the government. Monetary donations can be made at: www.spca.bc.ca/branches/wild-arc/

The wildlife refuge is also currently in need of edible berries.

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

Just Posted

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read