B.C. photographer captures rescue of bald eagle trapped in snare

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B.C. photographer captures rescue of bald eagle trapped in snare
WATCH: The incredible rescue video captured by Kootenays photographer Tasha Hall shows how weak the once-healthy raptor had become – Feb 2, 2017

wildlife photographer from the Kootenays region in B.C. was out looking for moose to photograph last week, when she stumbled upon an incredible sight: a bald eagle trapped in a hunter’s snare, likely intended for a wolf.

“We were moving up this trail and could see this weird thing,” Tasha Hall told Global News. “We went over and got a closer look and there it was.”

Hall said she spends a lot of time in the wilderness, seeking out wild animals to photograph, but said she has never seen a trapped bald eagle. She said it was amazing to interact with the powerful bird but also “pretty horrible” to come across it in this particular situation.

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She estimates that the male eagle had been trapped for at least two days. No other animals or birds were around, but since mating season is just around the corner, it’s likely the eagle had a partner.

“We were obviously concerned for its safety,” she said. “It’s a big animal. They’re very large birds, lots of claws with a sharp beak, so we were incredibly careful to wrap him up in my coat so that he wouldn’t bite or scratch us.”

Hall filmed the rescue efforts as her boyfriend, who has been trained on how to free trapped animals, released the bird. The incredible rescue video shows how weak the once-healthy raptor had become.

Once it was out of the snare, she placed it on the back of her snowmobile and drove three hours to Kamloops to take it to the B.C. Wildlife Park, where he was assessed.

“They say that his prognosis is good,” she said. “His wing is badly damaged. They’re not sure if it’s completely broken but there is a good chance that he’ll have a full recovery and be released.”

Hall is relieved that the eagle is recovering. She’s heard stories of other animals – and even pets – that have died in traps unintended for them.

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“It happens more commonly than we hear about,” she said. “Snares are really kind of a horrible way to trap animals.”

Hall said she hopes to be involved with the bird’s release back into the wild after it has recovered.

“It was quite an experience to pick that bird up and carry him out of there. It was pretty amazing,” she said.

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