Long-crested eagle recovers after lucky freeway rescue

2014-10-16 00:00

A DAZED long-crested eagle was released yesterday after being saved from certain death by two Good Samaritans from Pietermaritzburg.

The eagle was spotted on the N3 near the Boschhoek golf course turn-off between Howick and Nottingham Road.

The couple, Tyrol and Charlene Mitchell, were heading to Bergville for a three-day mountain bike race when they saw the helpless eagle stranded and unable to move in the middle of the road.

They suspected it had been hit by a car as these birds often scavenge along the road.

“We had to make a U-turn at the next off-ramp to try and rescue it. I got out of the car and I covered it with my jacket. A bit of blood was coming out from his claws,” Tyrol Mitchell said.

The couple took the bird to FreeMe wildlife rehabilitation centre where it was taken in and treated by experts.

“The eagle was very dazed and confused. His pupils were not responding to light stimulus properly, which is a sign of concussion,” said Roz Marais of FreeMe.

Yesterday Marais told The Witness the bird appeared to be fine on Tuesday and it was taken back to Boschhoek golf course where it was released and flew away.

“Raptor Rescue and FreeMe decided to release the bird back to its area to give it the best possible chance of a full recovery. There is a chance that it is one of a breeding pair and that they may be nesting at the moment.”

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