Firefighters in Florida this week helped rescue a bald eagle with a fishing hook stuck in its beak and the attached line wrapped around its wing and beak.
Firefighters at Pasco County Fire Rescue Station 21 on Thursday were greeted by two children holding the injured bald eagle and seeking help, according to the station’s Facebook page.
“The Eagle was tired, and its beak was wrapped in fishing line. After closer examination, Firefighters realized that the Eagle was underweight, a fishing hook was through his beak, and a fishing line was wrapped around his wing. The line was preventing the Eagle from eating and flying,” the post said.
The firefighters called Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife in Odessa for assistance and a volunteer came out to help.
“It appears that the eagle was wrapped in the line for about two days, was underweight, and dehydrated,” the post said.
Florida has one of the densest concentrations of nesting bald eagles in the lower 48 states, with an estimated 1,500 nesting pairs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Pasco County is located in the state’s west central coast north of Tampa.
After the eagle was examined, it was placed in a crate and taken to the sanctuary for treatment where Kris Potter, the sanctuary’s founder and director, successfully removed the hook.
The sanctuary posted on its Facebook page that the eagle is making up for lost time when it comes to food.
“He’s chomping down all his meals with great enthusiasm and doesn’t leave a crumb behind,” the post said. “In the meantime, this big guy is resting and recuperating—he’s already looking so much better!”
After the eagle is deemed stable, it will be taken to Busch Gardens in Tampa for further treatment, according to the post.
“Thankfully the Eagle appears in good health, and veterinarians believe that the Eagle will fully recover,” the post said.
When the eagle is cleared for return to the wild, it will be released in the area around Station 21, the station said in its post.
“A big thank you to everyone who helped save this bald Eagle’s life! We are #PascoProud and thankful for this happy outcome!” the post concluded.
The sanctuary used the story to remind those who enjoy fishing to properly dispose of their trash.
“And as a reminder, please discard … all fishing gear appropriately! This is such a common problem we see in rescue and one that can be completely avoided!” the sanctuary wrote.