• Volunteer pilot transports injured bald eagle to treatment center


    HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - A severely injured bald eagle was found in the eastern part of North Carolina at Camp Lejeune.

    The eagle flew to Huntersville on a private plane to receive treatments that will hopefully save her life.

    The bald eagle arrived heavily sedated and with a huge bandage covering her wing.

    X-rays confirmed her pain: A severe break to her upper wing.

    "This is probably a collision of some type. Could have been a structure like a high voltage tower or fence or something. We may never know," said Mathias Engelmann of the Carolina Raptor Center.

    The center, which specializes in rehabilitating injured raptors, got a call Friday about the eagle found at Camp Lejeune.
    They knew that to save her they had to get there quickly.

    "Sometimes a few hours can make the difference between life and death," Engelmann said.

    So, instead of sending someone to drive to the eastern part of the state, the center called on Fred Darnell, a volunteer who happens to be a private pilot, and was more than willing to fly the two hours each way to help.

    "Whenever we can help animals or birds, in particular these raptors, it gives us a great sense of accomplishment," Darnell said.

    The center thinks the eagle has been injured for more than a week now, which does not help her chances.

    "When they come in this condition there are no guarantees. We'll certainly try our best to help her out," Engelmann said.

    Last year, the raptor center admitted more than a thousand birds of prey for treatment, a record.

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