Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King points to a juvenile bald eagle shortly after its release in the Cowichan Valley following its recovery from being poisoned. Three more eagles are still recovering. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

VIDEO: Recovery and release of poisoned eagles continues in Cowichan Valley

Second bird set free, three more remain in care

The mother and daughter who discovered the first two of what ultimately turned out to be 12 poisoned bald eagles in the Cowichan Valley had the opportunity on Thursday afternoon to watch the release of one of the birds.

Deb Cvitanovich spotted the first eagle as she left for work on the morning of Jan. 16, and had her daughter, Deana, call rescuers when it was still in the same place as she left for school. A second bird was found on their property later that day, and 10 more were located in the area four days later. In all, six live eagles and six dead eagles were found.

The first eagle that recovered was returned to the wild last Sunday, and the second was released on Thursday.

It was an emotional moment for the Cvitanoviches as they watched the bird fly off.

“It was really neat to see that dog crate door open with that eagle in it, and it just took off, happy and healthy,” Deb said. “So nice to see it go into the wild. I almost needed the Kleenex, but I’m OK now.”

“It’s really cool to see it back out there where it belongs,” Deana added.

Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King had the honour of opening the cage to set the eagle free on Thursday.

“We’re really happy with how it turned out,” he said. “Nice strong flight. He found a good perch, and we’re happy with that.”

READ MORE: Positive prognosis for poisoned Cowichan Valley eagles

Of the six eagles that were found alive, two have now been released, one passed away in care up-Island, and the other three are still recovering.

“We’ve got two more up there under the care of North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre,” King explained. “Just while they stretch their wings and stay under observation as we make sure that after the poisoning symptoms fade that there’s no secondary issues that crop up, various injuries or complications that might have occurred.”

READ MORE: 12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Another bird remains in care at the Duncan facility, and will probably take longer to recover as he sustained wrist trauma prior to his rescue.

“We figure he either took a hard landing out of a tree or bumped into something as he came down because of his poor condition,” King said.

The birds are believed to have fed off the carcass of a euthanized farm animal that was not properly disposed of. An investigation by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service is underway. Conservation officers were not available for comment on Thursday.

Anyone who finds a dead or sick eagle should contact the Raptor Rescue Society at 778-936-0732.



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Stop work order at Sooke salmon hatchery devastates volunteers

CRD steps in as some volunteers give up their efforts

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Most Read