A Montgomery County animal services officer rescued an injured bald eagle, which was later named Trust, in the Potomac area.
It started about 8:45 a.m. Thursday when, police said, they received calls about an injured eagle in the area of River Road and Riverwood Drive. It is believed the eagle had been struck by a car as it was eating a deer carcass.
Officer Jennifer Gill went to the area and was told by a resident that the eagle was spotted walking into nearby woods. She found the eagle in the woods with “an injury that prevented it from flying.”
Gill wrapped the eagle in towels, and Danny Thomas, an officer with the Maryland Natural Resources Police, helped her put the eagle in a carrier. The eagle was taken to the Owl Moon Raptor Center in Boyds, Md.
An examination at the center found that the eagle had suffered a “soft tissue injury.” Authorities said the injury appeared to be relatively recent because the eagle was otherwise at a healthy weight.
Gill named the eagle Trust.
In a post on Facebook, the Owl Moon Raptor Center thanked the officers involved “for going the extra mile to rescue this gorgeous creature.”
They also said Trust was “on her feet, resting comfortably, and a little brighter.” The raptor center said the eagle “has some internal bleeding and sustained an injury to the left shoulder.” She is on medication to help reduce inflammation and pain, according to the center.
The center said it plans to take the eagle to Bennett Creek Animal Hospital for further examination and X-rays in the coming days. Once the eagle undergoes a thorough examination and rehabilitation, it will likely be released back into the wild. That process could take up to two months, officials said.
Bald eagles have made a resurgence in recent years after having previously been on the endangered species list. They are considered a protected species, according to the natural resource police. Experts say that vehicles are one of the biggest killers of bald eagles.
On Friday, Suzanne Shoemaker — the founder and director of the Owl Moon Raptor Center — said the rescued eagle may have been hit by a car as it was eating a deer carcass, which was found in the area.
When a car comes by eagles will often fly off from it, and they can fly into the path of a car, according to Shoemaker. She said Trust was “doing well.”
“It is perky and eating fresh fish,” said Shoemaker, whose center last year took in and helped rehab more than 160 birds of prey. Shoemaker said the eagle was “on its feet” and “acting alert.”
As development has encroached on their habitat, eagles are eating less fish and are scavenging more. They often are hit by vehicles as they eat carcasses on roads or are sickened from eating out of dumps or landfills, experts said.