WILDLIFE

Golden eagle saved from death and rehabilitated in Utah flies home

Dec 1, 2022, 7:00 AM | Updated: Dec 2, 2022, 11:13 am
After nine months of rehab in Kanab, Utah, a formerly injured Golden Eagle has been released back i...
The staff at Wild Friends Best Friends Animal Sanctuary spent months rehabilitating an injured Golden Eagle. Two weeks ago, he was released at Gunsight Point, not far from where he was found in Arizona. (Wild Friends Best Friends Animal Sanctuary)
(Wild Friends Best Friends Animal Sanctuary)

SALT LAKE CITY — A golden eagle grounded on the side of a road after suffering an injury in Fredonia, Arizona on Feb. 28 soared back to life on Nov. 19 after months of care and rehabilitation in Utah.

Recovery: Bringing the eagle back

In critical condition, the raptor was brought to Wild Friends at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. There, the bird was stabilized by staff, and onsite veterinarians performed emergency surgery.

X-rays showed a thin pouch connected to the eagle’s throat was full of an unknown substance; it was also treated for lead poisoning. 

A second surgery on the eagle was performed when the crop — a muscular pouch on the front of a bird’s neck — came through the stitches from the first surgery, leading to more than a month of intensive care.

The eagle was stabilized by Wild Friends staff prior to surgery After the anesthesia from his surgery wore off, the eagle was bright and alert The eagle was monitored closely post-surgery Lauren Ross of Wild Friends with the eagle as he recovered
(All photos courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society)

Once the raptor had recovered from both surgeries, it was time to rebuild his weakened flight muscles for return to its natural habitat.

Inside the 100-foot bird flight building in Kanab, the eagle could only manage one or two laps at first, but after several months of training, it could soar eight laps around the building without a break. 

Going back home

Arizona Fish and Game selected Gunsight Point, Arizona, as the release site for the rehabilitated golden eagle. Gunsight Point is about 30 miles from where the injured bird was found. 

Staff from Best Friends and Arizona Fish and Game watched as the golden eagle was released, soared, then disappeared into the surrounding red rock cliffs.

Did you know?

  • The golden eagle mostly eats rabbits, hares, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs.
  • The most common official national animal in the world, the golden eagle is the emblem of Albania, Germany, Austria, Mexico and Kazakhstan.
  • Learn more interesting facts about the largest, fastest, and most nimble of raptors at All About Birds.

What to do if you find an injured animal

Wild Friend offers the following tips should you encounter injured wildlife on the road:

  • Find your closest wildlife rehab center at AHNow.org and call for assistance in real-time, if possible.
  • Most rehab centers will ask that you have an animal contained, so it would help if you can get the animal in a box for transport, using either a large net or a towel (whatever you have on hand). Take extra care around the beak and feet.
  • Some centers have after-hour numbers, but if your closest center does not have an after-hours number you can call Wild Friends for 24/7 assistance.
  • Call your local Department of Wildlife Resources or Department of Natural Resources office for assistance if the animal is too dangerous or in a precarious position.
  • Stay with the animal to keep it at the scene or to prevent it from coming into contact with other animals.
  • Keeping wildlife is dangerous and illegal. You can be fined and possibly jailed for the offense. Wildlife centers provide a 48-hour grace period before seizing wildlife and charging a fine.
  • In addition to its licensed wildlife facilities, Wild Friends is also home to many species of adoptable animals in search of loving homes. Specifically, those that are equipped to care for species such as ducks, chickens, reptiles, and small mammals. 

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Wildlife

elk...
Adam Small

UHP urges drivers to slow down around elk, other wildlife

SALT LAKE CITY — The area around Foothill Drive and Parley’s Canyon is seemingly gaining popularity among herds of elk, as they have been seen every day since they were first spotted in late January. Unfortunately, the busy roads in that area have led to multiple crashes involving the animals like elk. Now, Utah Highway […]
4 days ago
Follow @SimoneSeikaly...
Simone Seikaly

Elk herd again on the move near Foothill Drive and Parley’s Canyon

Drivers near Foothill Drive and Parley's Canyon were warned to remain vigilant as officials worked to move the herd.
4 days ago
A herd of elk ended up on the roadways near I-80 and Foothill Boulevard on Thursday, Jan 26, 2023. ...
Mark Jones

Four elk killed as herd gets too close to I-215 and I-80

Four elk were killed Wednesday after a herd of elk got too close to I-215 and I-80. Two of the elk were struck and killed by vehicles. The other two had to be euthanized after being hit.
6 days ago
Follow @SimoneSeikaly...
Simone Seikaly

Elk, again, tried to cross roads near I-215/I-80 interchange in SLC

The Utah Department of Transportation reports that a herd of around 40 elk is stranded on the east bench.
6 days ago
wildlife...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Why is there an increase of wildlife in SLC neighborhoods?

If you've seen an increase of wildlife in your neighborhoods, you're not the only one. Weather patterns are putting animals on the move.
8 days ago
A herd of elk was crossing lanes of westbound I-80 in Salt Lake City on Thursday....
Elizabeth Weiler

Herd of elk pushed away from I-80 and moved back into mountains

The animals had moved down the mountain looking for food according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Golden eagle saved from death and rehabilitated in Utah flies home