A bald eagle injured by a fishing line and lure at Indian Lake is doing well and was still in the area as of last week.
Two state wildlife officers in Logan County received a call about an injured bald eagle earlier this month. They found the bird with a fishing lure caught in its wing and beak and unable free itself, said Gary Comer, wildlife management supervisor for District One of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The eagle couldn’t fly, Comer said, so he and Wildlife Officer Adam Smith used a tarp to catch it and pliers to remove the lure.
“There wasn’t any real severe injuries or anything and we released her and she flew off,” Comer said.
She seemed strong, he said, so she likely wasn’t stuck for too long.
Comer snapped a few photos of the eagle before she was released and found her wing was tagged. When he looked up the tag, he learned she had been released in Tennessee and is under one year old.
“We’re assuming she’s on her way to Lake Erie and maybe beyond,” he said.
He didn’t expect to see her again but last week at Old Field Beach, he spotted the tagged bird.
“It’s a pretty unique and rare occasion to get to see this bird twice,” Comer said. “It’s nice to know that 10 days later she’s doing fine and still hanging out in the area.”
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Comer said he’s never had that kind of interaction with an animal in his 20 years as working in natural resources.
“It’s very special,” he said, “very unique.”
The bald eagle rescue was exciting for beach-goers, too, like Erin Grim who was there last week to kayak.
“It’s just so wonderful that we have those people that take care of our wildlife and our natural resources here in Ohio,” Grim said.
It’s important to her that Ohio’s natural resources are maintained so that they can be enjoyed.
“Everybody has to take care of our lands,” she said. “It’s our responsibility.”
If anyone sees an animal in distress, Comer said they should call a local wildlife officer or law enforcement.
“They shouldn’t try to help the animal themselves without some proper training,” he said.
The bald eagle population has turned around in Ohio, Comer said. The state was down to about four breeding pairs in the 1970s, he said, but has more than 250 breeding pairs now.
“They’re doing great and it makes me happy to be part of this eagle’s journey in its life,” he said.
More information about bald eagles and Ohio’s wildlife and natural resources is available at wildohio.gov.