When area rancher Lee Sellers found a wounded Bald Eagle on April 7, it could fly only a short distance.
“The eagle could get up in a tree and was staying within a 50-yard radius,” said Sellers.
He contacted the Bah Kho-je Xla Chi (Grey Snow Eagle House) in Perkins to discuss rescue efforts. This sanctuary was completed in 2006 and funded through the Iowa Tribe with grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.
Two ladies from the Grey Snow Eagle House showed up the following Saturday. With Sellers’ help, the eagle was caught and loaded in about 30 minutes.
“Our timing couldn’t have been better, as two stray dogs had chased the eagle into the pond,” said Jana Sellers, Lee’s wife. “At least one of the dogs was wet and appeared to be trying to get to the eagle when we pulled up. After the dogs left, the eagle hopped to the pond dam. The rescue ladies circled as (the eagle) made her way to a dead tree.
“The capture looked easy as they used a canvas net on a pole. Towels were placed over the eagle’s head before removing her from the net and transferring her into a cage which was covered by a canvas cloth.”
The tip of the eagle’s wing was damaged beyond repair and a small portion had to be amputated. Although she cannot be released, she will have a good home at the sanctuary.
The Iowa Tribe developed the eagle rehabilitation program to protect injured eagles and increase community awareness of wildlife and Native American Culture. As of March 2013, the Grey Snow Eagle House is home to 46 non-releasable eagles which includes 12 Golden Eagles and 34 Bald Eagles. Eight Bald Eagles have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Since its opening, more than 8,500 visitors have visited the Perkins site.
For more information, visit http://www.iowanation.org.