MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) — A family of bald eagles is back together after two local fire departments and the Center for Birds of Prey helped get a female eaglet home on Thursday.
“(The bird) flew. It did what it was supposed to do. I saw the adult follow it. That’s probably as much as we can ask for,” said Jim Elliott, the executive director of Birds of Prey.
The Mount Pleasant and Isle of Palms fire departments helped Elliott get up to a tree to perch the eaglet on a branch with a ladder truck.
Over the weekend, the eaglet was spotted in an unsafe area. Cacky Rivers saw the eaglet trapped in the dense brush from a post on Facebook.
“Somebody had posted a picture of an eaglet about seven feet off of the ground. That’s not typical. That’s not normal. They’re supposed to be way high up,” said Rivers, who is a bald eagle advocate.
Elliott and Rivers said that they don’t know if the eaglet would have died in the storms on Tuesday and Wednesday, but something had to change.
“Eagles are large-bodied birds and in order to initiate flight it needs a runway or a place to drop from. It could do neither of those things,” Elliott said. “It’s a matter of a bird being in a sort of a no man’s land.”
The adults could not have continued to feed the bird in the small space that it was trapped in according to Elliott.
“Had we not intervened she was going to become thinner and dehydrated. Then she would have issues,” Elliott said.
The nest has been on a plot of untouched land beside Founder’s Way in Mount Pleasant for decades. Rivers and other neighbors were determined to make sure that the bird stayed safe.
“Thankfully we had a professional go in and he was able to capture her easily,” Rivers said. “This nest is so important to Mount Pleasant that we felt like we needed to do something if she was suffering.”
Normally, Rivers wants people to let nature run its course, but this situation was different.
“Think about the ecosystem and think about the circle of life. There’s a purpose and a reason for everything. For every animal there is,” Rivers said. “If you take one animal out of the equation things get kind of disrupted and unbalanced. I feel like it’s our job to protect and keep the circle for everything. We can’t save the world, I understand that, but a little at a time we can do it.”