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Sgt. Rosenberger with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in Clallam County, Washington rescued an illegally trapped bald eagle and set it free.
WDFW said they received a call from a pet owner that their dog had gotten its leg trapped in a poacher’s steel-jawed leghold trap. The dog owner was able to free his pet but mainly called to report that he found a bald eagle in an identical trap not far from his location.
WDFW quickly sent an officer who found the eagle in the trap and immobilized the bird before releasing it from being bound. Then he removed a blanket he had over it to keep it calm and set the bird free to fly back off into the wild. Sgt. Rosenberger was happy that the eagle didn’t have any injuries or broken bones.
Sgt. Rosenberger told KXLY, “This was a rare poaching incident where the poached animal was still alive and able to be released back into the wild immediately on-site. It was a once-in-a-career event watching the eagle take flight on a crisp sunny day with the surrounding hills colored by fall leaves.”
Wildlife officers seized both traps and gathered information that led to an investigation into a suspect living in the area. They found him and he admitted to setting the traps up. In his defense, he said the traps were to capture and kill nuisance coyotes causing problems in his area. Now he’s faced with 16 criminal charges for the traps.