Thursday, July 19, 2012

Injured eagle lifted by helping hands

By David Horst

WEYAUWEGA – Healing hands loosen their grip and, with a few quick beats of powerful wings, a bald eagle lifts into an endless blue sky, back to where he belongs.

That he can fly at all is testament to the power of luck – and people who care.

A month earlier, the eagle was diving in to feed on a muskrat carcass. It’s the nature of a scavenger, and the reason Ben Franklin thought he was unfit to be the national symbol.

Unfortunately, the muskrat had met its end on a 65 mph segment of State 10 near Fremont. The eagle swooped into the path of a moving pickup truck.

“He sees this flash of brown and, before he knows it, it was in his grille,” Department of Natural Resources warden Ted Dremel said of the driver.

It was about 6:30 a.m. Brian Baker of Pittsville was on his way to work in Appleton.

He saw the eagle fly north over the highway, but didn’t expect it to circle back.
The force of the collision smashed the grille and left the eagle embedded in the front of the truck – his head, wings and one leg snagged by the broken plastic.

“It’s not something you’re expecting,” Baker said.

The first act of caring was Baker stopping and calling the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department for help. They, in turn, called out Dremel.