WAYNE, Ill. (CBS) — After two months of treatment and recovery for a broken wing from an apparent gunshot wound, it took a bit of coaxing, but a 5-year-old bald eagle was able to return to the wild Friday morning.
“It’s always rewarding to see our animals released, and get back out to the wild, because that’s where they belong,” said Rose Augustine, a wildlife specialist at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, where the eagle spent the past two months.
An Oak Lawn resident found the injured bird in his back yard on Feb. 20. When animal control workers arrived, they noticed the eagle was severely malnourished, and unable to fly. Once workers got the eagle to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, they discovered his wing was broken, and X-rays found a piece of metal that appeared to be a bullet fragment or shotgun pellet. It’s unclear if someone shot the eagle on purpose, or on accident. Though no longer on the endangered species list, bald eagles are still protected by a number of federal laws.