David Hancock (Hancock Wildlife Foundation) dubbed the eaglet Donald because his bullying tactics reminded him of another Donald. School children nicknamed the gutsy little guy Flyer.
By any name, the eaglet was in trouble when he got his foot caught in a fishing net. Anyone watching the popular web cam could see the baby bird needed help. Pressure to free him mounted. Media reported. Only problem was the ground around the nesting tree on Vancouver Island was too soft for a crane to roll to the rescue.
Enter Derek Rathwell, president of Drainscope, who saw a newscast about the entangled eaglet. Thanks to the mats his company provided, the heavy crane rolled safely over the swampy ground. Jeffrey Krieger (Alternative Wildlife Solutions, Victoria, a company specializing in humane wildlife removal) and David Hancock climbed in the crane’s basket. The world watched as the eaglet’s leg was treated and freed and the parents flew back to feed him and his siblings.
We humans have been brutal in so many ways with our animal neighbours. But we are also compassionate. That’s the conundrum we can’t escape. An incident like this tips us to the humane side of our relationships with other creatures, and it gives me hope.
Here’s the account of the Sidney, B.C., rescue on the Hancock Wildlife site.