Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King points to a juvenile bald eagle shortly after its release in the Cowichan Valley following its recovery from being poisoned. Three more eagles are still recovering. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

VIDEO: Recovery and release of poisoned eagles continues in Cowichan Valley

Second bird set free, three more remain in care

The mother and daughter who discovered the first two of what ultimately turned out to be 12 poisoned bald eagles in the Cowichan Valley had the opportunity on Thursday afternoon to watch the release of one of the birds.

Deb Cvitanovich spotted the first eagle as she left for work on the morning of Jan. 16, and had her daughter, Deana, call rescuers when it was still in the same place as she left for school. A second bird was found on their property later that day, and 10 more were located in the area four days later. In all, six live eagles and six dead eagles were found.

The first eagle that recovered was returned to the wild last Sunday, and the second was released on Thursday.

It was an emotional moment for the Cvitanoviches as they watched the bird fly off.

“It was really neat to see that dog crate door open with that eagle in it, and it just took off, happy and healthy,” Deb said. “So nice to see it go into the wild. I almost needed the Kleenex, but I’m OK now.”

“It’s really cool to see it back out there where it belongs,” Deana added.

Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King had the honour of opening the cage to set the eagle free on Thursday.

“We’re really happy with how it turned out,” he said. “Nice strong flight. He found a good perch, and we’re happy with that.”

READ MORE: Positive prognosis for poisoned Cowichan Valley eagles

Of the six eagles that were found alive, two have now been released, one passed away in care up-Island, and the other three are still recovering.

“We’ve got two more up there under the care of North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre,” King explained. “Just while they stretch their wings and stay under observation as we make sure that after the poisoning symptoms fade that there’s no secondary issues that crop up, various injuries or complications that might have occurred.”

READ MORE: 12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Another bird remains in care at the Duncan facility, and will probably take longer to recover as he sustained wrist trauma prior to his rescue.

“We figure he either took a hard landing out of a tree or bumped into something as he came down because of his poor condition,” King said.

The birds are believed to have fed off the carcass of a euthanized farm animal that was not properly disposed of. An investigation by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service is underway. Conservation officers were not available for comment on Thursday.

Anyone who finds a dead or sick eagle should contact the Raptor Rescue Society at 778-936-0732.



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message: Campbell River RCMP

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Comox Valley child gets dream vacation from Make-A-Wish Foundation

Elliot Hunter went to Disneyland and met Lightning McQueen

UPDATED: Two vehicles seen leaving bloody scene of Courtenay shooting

32-year-old victim in stable condition and known to police

Courtenay to host the BC Regionals FireFit Championships

‘Toughest two minutes in sports’ coming to the Comox Valley

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read