In­jured ea­gle in Twill­ngate fi­nally on the move

Res­i­dent fed bird for 10 days while await­ing govern­ment re­sponse

The Beacon (Gander) - - News - BY PA­TRICK MUR­PHY THE PI­LOT Pa­trick.mur­phy@tc.tc

Af­ter days of phone calls, stress and worry, Sheri­dan Rice can fi­nally rest easy, his wounded friend has fi­nally been at­tended to.

His new pal is an ea­gle, one Rice stum­bled upon while head­ing home on ATV af­ter spend­ing a bit of time in the woods. An ea­gle he im­me­di­ately knew was wounded and in need of help.

“He was just there on a rock, and I got fairly close to him and he just jumped off the rock,” Rice told the Pi­lot. “And I fig­ured there is def­i­nitely some­thing wrong.”

Af­ter tak­ing a closer look at the bird, Rice dis­cov­ered it had a bro­ken wing. Not know­ing what else to do, he headed home and called the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Land Re­sources wildlife di­vi­sion.

The first call, made on a Satur­day, went unan­swered. So Rice says he left a mes­sage and waited for a re­turn call Mon­day morn­ing. Since that day he called a num­ber of wildlife of­fices — Gan­der, Grand Falls-Wind­sor and Cor­ner Brook, and he is still wait­ing.

“I haven’t re­ceived a call back from sin­gle depart­ment what­so­ever,” said Rice. “Does no­body even work in the of­fice I said to my­self.”

The Depart­ment how­ever, has a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

“We have checked with our Forestry and Wildlife of­fices and have no other record of con­tact,” said Vanessa Col­man-Sadd, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Fish­eries and Land Re­sources in an emailed state­ment to the Pi­lot. “We have also checked with our Fish and Wildlife En­force­ment di­vi­sion and like­wise have no record of con­tact.”

Ul­ti­mately Rice be­lieves a so­cial me­dia post is what led to a so­lu­tion. Rice wrote the post de­scrib­ing the bird and his frustration with the lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the depart­ment. An­other Twillingate res­i­dent, Rice says, is em­ployed with the wildlife di­vi­sion, con­tacted him and said he should con­tact Forestry and Agri­foods in Lewis­porte for a so­lu­tion.

Af­ter a few calls the ar­range­ments were set to have the Ea­gle picked up. Forestry Of­fi­cers would con­tact Rice to lo­cate the bird and re­lo­cate it to Sal­monier Na­ture Park. The plan did not reach fruition, the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Lands re­sources told the Pi­lot. “Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cers made sev­eral at­tempts to con­tact the in­di­vid­ual to gather more in­for­ma­tion but were un­suc­cess­ful,” ac­cord­ing to Col­man-Sadd.

Rice how­ever, has a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

“Ap­par­ently they lost my con­tact num­ber, so they didn’t know how to get ahold of me,” said Rice. “So they just went on to look for it them­selves and couldn’t find it.”

The sit­u­a­tion would re­peat it­self at least one more time. In the 10 days af­ter Rice found the bird, he brought the ea­gle a steady diet of rab­bit road kill. It was enough to keep it alive he says, while oth­ers sorted out re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“That was my big­gest shock af­ter all the times I called,” said Rice. “I was call­ing ev­ery day last week, no re­turn calls.”

The ea­gle has since been picked up by the prov­inces Forestry di­vi­sion. On their third at­tempt of­fi­cers con­firmed to Rice they had the bird. Rice says again there was no call be­fore of­fi­cers picked up the bird, but he is pleased the ea­gle will fi­nally get some med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

“They said most likely he will go to the Sal­monier Na­ture Park,” said Rice. “My sis­ter was out there a few days ago in the bird sec­tion, and they had a place set up.”

The Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Land Re­sources has con­firmed the ea­gle is be­ing trans­ported to the Sal­monier Na­ture Park. The Pi­lot will pro­vide up­dates as more in­for­ma­tion be­comes avail­able.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

For 10 days Twillingate res­i­dent Sheri­dan Rice fed an in­jured Ea­gle while await­ing some re­sponse from the prov­ince. The bird is now said to be on its way to the Sal­monier Na­ture Park.

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