Photo via Pennsylvania Game Commission
A once-in-a-lifetime encounter for a Pennsylvania woman likely saved two bald eagles from a death that would have been nobody's fault but their own.
It was earlier this week when Rebecca Weaver saw two mature bald eagles floating near the bank of the Susquehanna River in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Concerned for their safety, she called local authorities, who swooped into action.
"The eagles were likely fighting in the sky over territory and dropped to the ground near the river where they continued their battle," said Columbia County Game Warden Rick Deiterich. "They seem to have tumbled into the water and would not, or could not, let go of their grip on one another."
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the bald eagles had been in the frigid water for hours, which caused their muscles to lock up.
Authorities used snare poles to lift the eagles out of the water, then transported them to a nearby fire department, where they were warmed up.
"Amazingly, the birds' talons were clutching mostly feathers and skin – they had no apparent muscle injuries," the Pennsylvania Game Commission wrote on Facebook.
After about an hour in the fire department building, the birds finally released their talons and were again able to taste freedom.
"A bay door of the building was opened and both birds flew off in the direction of the Espy bog to the cheers of those who helped them through their ordeal," according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
So what should you do if you notice an animal in distress?
In Illinois, you can contact the Illinois Conservation Police. The Willowbrook Wildlife Center also is a great resource for questions about injured wildlife.
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