BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – Sunday night, Rodney Williams, an employee at the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority, spotted what seemed to be an injured bald eagle struggling to fly in the landfill.
“I didn’t have a lot going on so I just kind of stayed out there until dark. Then everybody came in Monday, I took all the guys out there and the bird hadn’t went 50 feet,” Williams told 59News.
After contacting the Division of Natural Resources and the Three Rivers Avian Center in Summers County, Solid Waste Authority staff came up with a rescue plan.
Employees worked together to corner the bird and they were eventually able to capture it with a blanket and dog crate.
Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority Director James Allen told 59News he and his team worked together well to rescue the bird.
“Well the conversation was ‘grab as many people as you can and don’t let him get by you. He was a rather large looking bird whenever you see him, they’re very intimidating. We had one gentleman with a blanket, his name is Chris. Chris was very agile and throwing the blanket, and on the third attempt Chris was able to corral him.”
The eagle is now receiving treatment for lead poisoning at the Three Rivers Avian Center in Summers County, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Lead poisoning makes birds become disoriented, weak, and unable to fly. Executive Director of Three Rivers, Wendy Perrone said it is possible the bird may have contracted the disease by eating something that was shot with lead ammunition.
“Right now he’s in the hospital part of the facility. He’s in an eight by eight room with a nice big, tall perch, and he’s got windows to look out. He’s going to stay there for the next few days while we continue his chelation therapy and get him to where he’s feeling strong enough to fly again,” Perrone told 59News.
Perrone says the eagle should be able to make a swift recovery and return back to his home at the landfill in 30 to 40 days.