Nov 21 2022

Bald Eagle Release November 2022

Bald Eagle Release November 2022

On October 14th, 2022 Giles County Animal Control picked up a grounded adult Bald Eagle in Dublin.  The eagle was transported to the SW Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke, Virginia where it was stabilized and assessed for injuries.  It was determined the eagle had a small corneal ulcer in its left eye and had lead in its system.


After being stabilized, the eagle was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro where it was now called “Eagle 22-3402” and began treatment for the eye ulcer and lead poisoning.  At this point the eagle’s condition was listed as “guarded.”  But after 4 weeks of aggressive treatment and flight conditioning at the Wildlife Center, the eagle was ready for release!


On November 16, 2022 Eagle 22-3402 was back in Pulaski County, at Claytor Lake State Park preparing to go back to the wild. A large crowd gathered to witness the release include a busload of students, bird watchers and moms and dads with their kids.


The Wildlife Center’s President Ed Clark personally made the trip down from Waynesboro to give a presentation to the crowd and send Eagle 22-3402 on its way on the Wildlife Centers 40th anniversary!


The release went perfect and the eagle flew right past the crowd flying strongly and powered out of sight.  It is our hope and prayer that this eagle lives a long life in the wild and we would like to thank the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center and the Wildlife Center of Virginia for their dedicated work helping all of Virginia’s injured wildlife.  Both Wildlife Centers are funded by donations from the public so please visit their respective websites and support them if you can.


Lastly, many birds of prey become sick from lead poisoning each year and often die.  In many instances the lead comes from gut piles of animals that were shot.  Many years ago, there was little to no alternative to lead ammunition, and the few options were hard to find and very expensive.  Today, non-lead ammo is readily available, competitively priced, and as ballistically effective as the best hunting ammo on the market.  Non-lead ammunition stops the unintended killing of animals ingesting it and it also increases the amount of meat you are able to harvest from each animal.  Ed Clark is an avid hunter and mentioned in his presentation that he switched over to non-lead about 20 years ago for this very reason and has never harvested an animal with a lead round since.  This mirrors my experience and I will never go back to shooting lead ammo!  Just take a look at that magnificent eagle flying away and ask yourself why would we continue to put this poison into our bodies and the environment!  The commonly used saying, “I’m leaving the gut pile for scavengers” takes on a whole new meaning once you realize the carnage it leaves behind!

two men with bald eagle

Photo credit Michael Yeatts

-shared by Bill Ahern, Giles County ACO

Other stories related to this event: (click link to access)

Virginia Wildlife Center

Lake Launch Roanoke Times Article


Enjoy this video of the day from the Virginia Wildlife Center

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