A rescued juvenile bald eagle was transported from Williams Lake to Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Society by Bandstra on Dec. 23 and returned to Williams Lake and was released on Friday, Feb. 21. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Miocene couple watch release of juvenile bald eagle they rescued

Linette Bender and Allan Cook released the eagle from a snare

A Miocene area couple had the satisfaction of seeing a young juvenile bald eagle released last Friday that they had freed from a snare the week before Christmas.

Linette Bender said her husband Allan Cook, a autobody technician at Lake City Collision, was out for a cross-country ski near their property on Westwick Pit Road when he found the eagle face down in the snow, exhausted from trying to free his leg from the snare.

“Allan came back into the house and told me and I went in to rescue mode, grabbed a blanket and cat carrier and went

with him,” she told the Tribune.

At the scene she put the blanket over the eagle as Allan removed the snare. Bender said the eagle was still and quiet, and probably knew that they were helping him.

“He didn’t give me any grief as I held him,” Bender said.

Cook then called the Williams Lake Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Ross Hawkes met them at the clinic.

Read More: Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

Hawkes did an X-ray and the leg wasn’t broken but it was swollen and it was determined it would not have survived in the wild.

Bender said Hawkes then contacted Sue Burton who volunteers for Second Chance Wildlife Rescue Society and she arranged for the eagle to be transported by Bandstra Transportation Systems Ltd. to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta on Dec. 23.

Burton picked up the eagle from the vet on Friday, Jan. 21, after it was transferred back to Williams Lake.

She transported it out to Miocene to join Bender and Cook for its release.

“He flew so high and rode the updrafts happy to be free,” Burton said.

It was Bender and Cook’s first time rescuing wildlife and something Bender said she hopes they won’t have to do again.

“I am just so happy Allan decided to go for a ski and happened to go over there because, man the eagle wouldn’t have had a chance,” she added.

They have lived in Miocene for almost six years.

After this experience, Bender said they also made a donation to OWL.

Burton said in conversation with the Conservation Officer Service she learned the snare was set legally.

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