A US army veteran has used his sharp-shooting skills to free a bald eagle trapped in a Minnesota tree ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
Jackie Gervais Galvin of Rush City, Minnesota, said on her Facebook page that the eagle had become entangled in a rope in the tree. It had hung upside down from a branch near the cabin belonging to her and her husband, Jason Galvin, for more than two days, she said.
Jason Galvin used a borrowed .22-caliber rifle with a scope to sever the 4-inch (10 cm) rope after firing 150 shots. Galvin never hit the eagle.
The bird tumbled 75ft (23m) to the ground. The couple wrapped it in a blanket and took it to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center.
“We named the eagle Freedom and hope to be able to release him near his home once he is back to health!” Jackie Galvin wrote on Facebook.
Galvin told Minneapolis news website KARE that high wind made the shot difficult, but he was determined to free the bird.
“It was a good weekend for it to happen,” Galvin said. “Fourth of July, you know, that’s our bird. I can’t let it sit there.”
Galvin said he and his wife initially called the police and fire departments after spotting the bird, but because it was so high up, the agencies were not able to help and “deemed this was going to be a loss.”
Before taking aim, Galvin also cleared his plan with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Phil Mohs, a conservation officer from the department, gave Galvin the go-ahead, believing the eagle would die in the tree if left alone.
The federally protected bird, or Haliaeetus leucocephalus, is featured on US currency and in the presidential seal. It was adopted as the national US bird symbol in 1782.
A raptor center vet told KARE that the eagle was eating and drinking, although its long-term prognosis was unclear.
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