Injured bald eagle rescued in Jackson County recovering

Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 2:11 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Jackson County first responders and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) responded to a different kind of emergency on Sunday morning, September 5.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was called at 7:30 a.m. to a report of a an injured bald eagle on Highway 51 near the Big Muddy River, just south of De Soto.

Deputies found the eagle and said the bird was unable to fly or walk.

This bald eagle was found injured near the Big Muddy River off of Highway 51, just south of De...
This bald eagle was found injured near the Big Muddy River off of Highway 51, just south of De Soto on Sunday, Sept. 5.(Source: Jackson County Sheriff's Office)

IDNR was contacted.

Agents were able to capture the eagle without further injury and transported it to the Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation in Carterville.

“The natural heritage biologist picked it up and transported it over her about 9 o’clock in the morning,” said Beverly Shofstall.

Owner of Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation Beverly Shofstall says once the eagle arrived, she did an initial examination to see if she could identify the problem.

“We basically did cage rest for an hour or two to reduce the stress. Just to let is settle down,” said Shofstall.

Upon re-examination, she says they couldn’t find any fractures, but found the bird did have a balance problem.

“One of the indications of just a mild head injury. Which of course if he got clipped by a car is very possible,” said Shofstall. “Bald eagles in this area have made an incredible comeback, but we can’t make up the difference from the damage that gets done to them in other areas then we do our best to do that.”

Shofstall says the eagle should fully recover and be released back to wild in a few days.

Free Again is a licensed rehab facility and sanctuary for wildlife. The center is a non-profit organization that is operated by volunteers funded by donations.

In addition to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and IDNR, the De Soto Fire Department assisted in the rescue.

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