A bald eagle is recuperating at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops after Logan Lake Mounties rescued the raptor.
Police were alerted to the injured bird, which was found lying on the roadside near Mamette Lake Road and Foley Road on June 30.
The bird appeared unable or unwilling to leave the area when Const. Ryan Dell, acting detachment commander for the Logan Lake RCMP, and traffic services Cpl. Brodie Ferris arrived at the scene.
“He won’t leave, he just wants to stay on the side of the road,” Dell told KTW. “Turns out his wing was heavily damaged.”
Dell said he had never before seen a bald eagle up face to face.
“They’re quite majestic up close,” he said, adding the bird was quite calm during the encounter.
“I thought I was going to get scratched or something, but he was very calm,” Dell said.
He said the eagle tried backing away from them, but didn’t have anywhere to go.
The two officers were able to place a blanket over the bird, pick it up and put it in a borrowed dog crate.
The Mounties then transported the eagle to the detachment’s cells, where the unlikely avian inmate was cared for overnight.
The next morning, Dell drove the animal to the BC Wildlife Park’s rehabilitation facility, where it remains.
Dell said he not received an update on the eagle’s condition.
It was an unusual experience as a police officer, Dell said, but he has heard stories of other officers having to wrangle injured eagles.
It’s an on-the-job experience he now has in common with his father, a retired police officer.
“Twenty or thirty years ago, he had an eagle and put it in his cells overnight, too, he was telling me,” Dell said.
He can only presume the eagle they rescued was hit by a passing car.
“As a Mountie, you wear many hats,” Dell said.
“Some days, you are a career counsellor or a conflict mediator, other days a traffic enforcer or a homicide investigator. Some days, you are an animal wrangler.”