Injured eagle in Twillngate finally on the move
Resident fed bird for 10 days while awaiting government response
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.
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.