The bald eagle has always been a wonderful sight in the sky. It carries beauty and power that anyone will admire at first sight.
That’s why it’s memorable to see one in real life, as their presence can leave you in awe.
Bald eagles are also an icon of freedom, especially when they soar through the vast skies. However, the mighty birds can also become victims of hunting activities.
They can get accidentally shot, which often leads to injuries or death.
It can also make them flightless — a saddening condition, as birds take pride in their ability to fly and use it to survive.
Often, bald eagles that are shot are found by rescuers and then transferred to rehabilitation centers after treatments. Wolf was one of those bald eagles, and she has a beautiful and inspiring story.
The magnificent bird was named Wolf because of her aggressive personality. Dr. Cliff Redford from Wellington Vet Hospital handled her surgery due to an injury she gained in an incident.
Wolf got accidentally shot by duck hunters, which caused her to crash down, pushing her bones through her skin.
The vet mentioned that he had never treated a bird as large as a bald eagle. Nevertheless, he was able to pull through and save Wolf from the pain.
“The bald eagle ended up doing very, very well after anesthesia — woke up very, very quickly and headed off to the rehab facility for the next six weeks,” Dr. Cliff shared. Wolf was given a temporary home at Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge — where she rested and did test flights.
However, it wasn’t completely easy to attend to an apex predator, so they had to use a blanket to handle Wolf well. Half of her body was covered with the blanket during physical therapy — avoiding attacks and calming her down. Although she gets aggressive and feisty at times, the bald eagle was cooperative in her healing journey. Wolf certainly missed flying in the wild, and she’s excited to return.
Dr. Cliff and his team supervised Wolf’s test flights, usually done inside a spacious but enclosed area. Her daily practices showed progress, and her flight became more effortless. Wolf can flap her wings again at the first few test flights, although she cann’t fly as high and long as before.
But it was not the end of it all; she continued to learn with confidence through the guidance of Dr. Cliff’s team. Wolf flapped her wings with all her might, which led her to the day of her release. She was ready to return to the wild again — the sky and the wind were waiting for her.
“It was a cold, wintery day, and we took her out onto the frozen Niagara River. Right before letting her loose, I decided to give one last little exam on her,” Dr. Cliff said.
Funnily enough, Wolf acknowledged the vet’s presence by nipping his hand — perhaps also a greeting or a goodbye. The snowy white surroundings became even more magical as Wolf took her first flight in the wild.
She was once again free, with her wings good as new, thanks to a successful recovery. A bald eagle regaining its ability to fly is indeed a breathtaking sight. You can witness that remarkable moment in the video below.
The Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge and Dr. Cliff should be applauded for giving Wolf another chance at life.
This article by Ergil Ermeno was first published by The Animal Rescue Site. Lead Image: YOUTUBE/THE DODO.
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