CHRISTOPHER HURST PHOTO

CHRISTOPHER HURST PHOTO

Rescued eagle released

MARS announced they have taken in three ‘oiled’ eagles in the last week.

An eagle that was recently found covered in an ‘oily substance’ was released back into the wild.

The Eagles was found June 7 on Malcolm Island at Bere Point Campground and transported to the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS), which is a Wildlife hospital at Merville, North of Courtenay.

“She came back yesterday (June 13) and we let her go,” said Robin Smith, who works at the Ocean Front Hotel in Alert Bay. Smith was the one who helped get the eagle to a veterinarian after it had been discovered.

The eagle was flown back to Alert Bay thanks to the assistance of Joel Eilersten, who works at Aircab in Coal Harbour, as he happened to be flying up from Campbell River at that time.

“She came out of the cage and walked around for a bit, and then flew to a tree and just sat there for a few minutes,” said Smith, who added the eagle “made up her mind as to what she wanted to do and where so wanted to go, and she was off.”

In a press release dated June 13, MARS announced they have taken in three ‘oiled’ eagles in the last week, which includes the eagle released at Bere Point Campground.

“It’s definitely an oil, but it seems to be plant based,” said MARS Coordinator Robert McLennan. “One of the reasons that we can’t stat that factually yet, is because it could be an animal oil.”

Reg Westcott, Animal care supervisor at MARS says it’s very suspicious. “Because they can fly, it’s very difficult to pinpoint the source of the oil. The eagles were found in an open ocean area, and we are worried about how many injured eagles may have been missed.”

MARS asserted they have notified conservation to alert them of the situation and initiate an investigation into the source of the oil.

– Hanna Petersen article