H-NIPOMO

May 29, 2012 8:46 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Golden eagle found injured in Nipomo released back into the wild

After weeks of rehabilitation, a golden eagle was released back into the wild Tuesday. Three and a half weeks ago, a farmer found two golden eagles fighting on a dirt road in Nipomo.

While they were not injured, neither of them could fly, and that's when Pacific Wildlife Care came in, and took care of them.

The other eagle was released last week. The one sent off Tuesday didn't start flying until a couple of days ago.

Spectators came out to see the male golden eagle go back to its home. "When we have a successful release like that there's nothing, I mean, that's what we strive for," said Kelly Vandenheuvel of Pacific Wildlife Care in San Luis Obispo.

But not all send offs have gone well. Kelly said, many times, the animals they get are either too sick or too injured to be released. And in the worst case scenario, they have to be euthanized.

Kelly said it's important to bring the birds back to the exact spot they were found. "Often times these birds have territories or they have a mate and so we always like to bring them back to where they came from so that they could be reunited, and be in the territory they're used to," she added.

The last time Pacific Wildlife Care cared for a golden eagle was two and a half years ago in Santa Margarita. And it took him 6 months to get better. For the eagles released this week, it was less than a month.

"[You have to] make sure that he's not going down hill. You know, in this case no obvious injuries. He didn't need to have his wings wrapped or anything done surgically. So he just needed to be conditioned and fed very well," she said.

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