A man came in to Popcorn Park saying he had a BIG bird in the back of his pickup.
He had been hunting out near Whiting when he had heard, and then saw, a lot of commotion behind some brush. Something seemed to be thrashing back and forth. He discovered a huge bird caught by the neck in a snare trap. As he was trying to figure out a way to release it, the terrified bird tried even harder to escape causing the snare to tighten as they are designed to do. The bird passed out and collapsed giving the hunter a chance to remove the snare.
Halfway back to the truck the eagle started to wake but was pretty worn out and could be handled. The hunter put him in a crate in the back of his truck and drove to Popcorn Park. The bird was now fully awake and not happy about being in such a small crate. As we opened the door a bit to see what we were dealing with, we saw talons bigger then a man's hands and a beautiful golden color on his head. This was a magnificent golden eagle who really needed our help. We carefully picked him up and moved him into a bigger carrier, covering it to reduce his stress.
While moving him we did a quick check. Luckily, his talons and legs worked as did his wings. He was just worn out and stressed from being caught in a snare trap for no one knows how long.
Snare traps trap indiscriminately, whatever animal happens to walk, run or fly through the almost invisible wire, gets caught, and then waits however long it takes for the trap's owner to show up and kill it. Sometimes it captures a pet dog or cat or, as in this case, a bird. It is a cruel, painful trap used to catch animals who are killed by the hunter while in the trap and then skinned so their pelts can be sold. This eagle was lucky; had that hunter not come along, he would have continued struggling to escape, further tightenting the wire on his neck.
We secured the eagle away from any additional stress and called Don of Toms River Avian Care, a good friend to Popcorn Park, and brought the eagle to him for evaluation and care. They called the next morning. After some fluid therapy the eagle was resting comfortably. With the proper food and a couple weeks of rest, he should be able to be released. Much thanks is due this hunter who took the time to investigate the sounds and to bring him to Popcorn Park.
Looks like this beautiful golden eagle will once again be able to soar freely through the sky.