Injured bald eagle rescued from Massachusetts river bank

WEST NEWBURY, Mass. — An injured bald eagle, found along a river bank in eastern Massachusetts, was rescued by police working with animal control officers.

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The eagle was found in a brush-covered area next to the Merrimack River in West Newbury, police told WFXT. Animal control officer Kayla Provencher was joined by dispatcher Bob Pierce, who had previous experience with injured bald eagles, at the scene.

Provencher told WFXT that eagles are excellent and fast swimmers, which made the rescue a challenge. While Pierce went into the river to block the eagle from moving in the direction of the river’s flow, Provencher captured the animal using a long net, blankets and towels.

In a news release, West Newbury Public Safety said the rescuers all wore thick gloves and took precautions to protect themselves from the eagle’s talons and beak.

“At one point he grabbed my gloves with his talons and I could feel the pressure,” Provencher said. “I could not just pull my hand away so I had to wait for him to release.”

Photos shared to the West Newbury Public Safety Facebook page show the bird as it was found in the brush, as well as rescuers working to help it.

The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States, and in the wild it usually grows to between 6 and 14 pounds with a wingspan of 80 inches, according to National Geographic. The bald eagle was named the symbol of the United States in 1782 when it was first placed on the country’s great seal.

West Newbury animal control shared photos of the rescued bird on Facebook, showing the bald eagle inside of a carrier.

Once rescued, the eagle was taken to Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center, WFXT reported.