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

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read