Animal rescues are one of the purest activities you can find on the Internet. It is so heartwarming to see people go out of their way to rescue the life of a defenseless animal. When one police officer spotted an injured bald eagle, he knew he had to step in and help. Now the bald eagle is in love with him and refuses to leave his side!
20. Odd Backseat Passenger
If you happened to be driving around on the roads of Oregon last week, you may have been in for quite a surprise. People throughout the town spotted an unlikely backseat passenger in a cop car. It left everyone feeling quite confused.
19. An Animal
There, in the backseat of Sergeant First Class (SFC) Randall Hand’s official police vehicle, was a bald eagle. What could this bald eagle have done to wind up in the back of a cop car? Surely, it couldn’t have broken the law!
18. Rescue Job
It seems that a police officer’s job in Oregon extends further than just protecting the people in the town Office Randall Hand is in charge of protecting. Recently, Hand was called in on a job that surprised even him. Apparently a bald eagle was in need of some serious saving!
17. A Call
The police department had received a phone call from a ranch in Beatty, Oregon. The man that had called in stated that he saw a bald eagle having a rough time in a field of alfalfa. Since the man had no experience dealing with bald eagles or any proper equipment, he decided to phone the authorities.
16. Heading Over
SFC Hand headed over to the ranch to see what was going on. Once he reached the ranch, he quickly spotted the bald eagle. The bald eagle had obviously grown tired and was resting off in a nice shady area.
15. Perfect for the Job
Unlike many of the other officers at the department, SFC Hand happened to be perfect for the job. He happened to possess some rather unique skills that allowed him to interact with the bald eagle! It seems that the department did the right thing by sending him over.
14. Wildlife Biologist
“I served approximately five years as a wildlife biologist prior to my work with the Oregon State Police,” SFC Hand told The Dodo. “While working as a biologist, I was trained on the safe capture and handling of all types of wildlife native to Oregon, some of the training was for the safe handling of raptors.”
13. Smart Thinking
SFC Hand could tell that there was something wrong with the bald eagle that was preventing it from being able to fly. In order to capture it without startling it, SFC Hand grabbed a coat from the back of his vehicle. “Flightless raptors are actually fairly easily caught with the use of only a blanket or coat,” he said.
12. Defensive Mechanism
Eagles happen to have a pretty quick defense mechanism they employ if they feel threatened. The raptors will often roll onto their backs and begin to swipe at the threat with their talons. SFC Hand wanted to prevent this from happening!
“Once on the back, I toss or drop a blanket or coat on the talons and the bird will grab hold,” SFC Hand said. “I then carefully maneuver the bird upright and gain control of both wings with one hand while carefully gaining control of the legs (above the talons) with the other hand. In this case, the eagle did as was expected and took hold of a coat.”
So far things were working out well for SFC Hand – however, the bald eagle soon began to resist his efforts. “This particular eagle was quite strong and was not pleased at all,” SFC Hand said. “I needed to keep the bird at arm’s length until returning to my patrol vehicle.”
Next, SFC Hand had to figure out the safest way to transport the bald eagle. “Unfortunately, my car is built to handle human occupants,” SFC Hand said. “I was concerned this bird may damage herself by attempting to get out.”
8. Watchful Eye
So SFC Hand placed the bald eagle into the backseat all while continuing to keep a watchful eye on her. “She did try [to get out] for about three to five seconds before settling onto the seat belts as a perch,” he said. “That is where she rode all the way to the rehabilitator.”
7. Rehab Center
SFC Hand began to drive over to Badger Run Wildlife Rehab (BRWR) in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The bald eagle was examined by vets at the facility. They quickly realized why the eagle wasn’t able to fly.
6. Tissue Damage
Once they had looked the bald eagle over it was obvious what the problem was. She had tissue damage to one shoulder and she would need to undergo physical therapy to fix the issue. The bald eagle was then prescribed some medication and given space to relax.
5. Growing Attached
The sweet bald eagle began to grow attached to her rescuer. After all, without him, she would have been stuck with a flimsy shoulder. At first, she didn’t want him to leave her side!
4. Doing Better
However, she soon became quite the independent eagle! She started to get better and better after each passing day. The BRWR have been blown away by her progress and how strong her character is!
3. Extensive Damage
“She is doing well, eating voraciously,” Liz Burton, animal care coordinator for BRWR, told The Dodo. “She has extensive soft tissue damage and that takes a lot of time to heal.” Since her damage is so extensive, Burton is unsure of when she will be released back into the wild.
2. Released Into The Wild
“We won’t know for several weeks, possibly months,” Burton explained when asked when the bald eagle would be released back into the wild. However, if the eagle never fully recovers then she may just be adopted by a native tribe for an eagle aviary. Or she may join the BRWR’s center.
1. Saving A Life
Regardless of what happens to this sweet bald eagle, it is quite obvious that SFC Hand saved her life that day. Now, the bald eagle can heal in a safe environment and continue to get stronger each day!