VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - An American Bald Eagle is flying high after being released in Vancleave on Saturday. Six months ago, the bird was found in someone's back yard, clinging to life. After rehabilitating the eagle, The Wildlife Care and Rescue Center was pleased to give the bird its freedom back.
"It always makes you emotional when you can release something like an eagle, or any animal for that matter, because there are so many of them that do come through our hands over the years that don't get the opportunity to get back into the wild," said Alison Sharpe.
What better way to celebrate Wildlife Rescue's 20th anniversary than being able to release a bald eagle that was found injured in Vancleave.
"I said this would be one of best birthday presents, because this year marks our 20th year on the Coast. So yea, this is a great birthday present for the wildlife center," said Sharpe.
Fortunately, the adult, male bald eagle was released just feet from the spot where Wesley Howard and William Rhodes found him six months earlier.
"He (Wesley) saw something out in the field. He didn't know what it was, and he walked over to it and it started flopping," said Rhodes.
The men say as soon as they realized what it was, they called Wildlife Rescue to come and pick it up.
"We instantly realized the bird had a wing injury, one of the large bones in the wing. It's called the Ulna. It was actually broke. There was a very large hematoma. It was an open wound, so unfortunately, we were dealing with a lot of fly larva that had already hatched," said Sharpe.
At one point, Sharpe feared the bird wouldn't survive.
"I was determined not to give up on him, and I'm glad I didn't," said Sharpe.
He believes the eagle may have a female eagle somewhere out there to reunite with.