Eagle loses foot to leg-hold trap
We received a call from Tumalo about a Bald eagle down on the ground this afternoon. The caller thought it’s wings appeared ok, however, it may have been limping, and was clearly having trouble getting off the ground.
High Desert Wildlife’s veterinary team and intern from PCC’s Biology and Management of Zoo Animals headed out to rescue the bird, with towels, gloves and crate in hand.
After a short chase (the eagle evaded our first attempt by flying low along the ground this eagle appears to have been caught in a leg-hold trap. The sign of entrapment is classic – the bird’s leg is cut clean through just above the foot. He is missing his entire right foot!! It appears to have occurred within the last week, judging by the amount of inflammation.
Leg-hold traps may be labeled for a particular species (Bobcat, Coyote, etc), however they are NOT species specific. Quite the opposite, any animal that happens to come along is a potential victim. Domestic pets are frequently caught, as are other wild non-target species. Whether target or non-target, we feel these traps inflict a great deal of pain on the trapped animal, sometimes for many days. “A pet suffers the same as a coyote suffers the same as a skunk suffers the same as an eagle!”