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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Bald eagle helped by sheriff’s deputy recovers and returns to the wild

An injured bald eagle that was helped by a Marion County sheriff’s deputy in Summerfield last month has been returned to the wild.

The bird initially was believed to have a broken wing when Dep. Austin Coon discovered him on sitting in the middle of U.S. Hwy. 441 on Oct. 28. Coon came upon several stopped vehicles and thinking there was a car crash or disabled vehicle, initiated his emergency lights to stop traffic behind him.

But Coon soon discovered the real issue as he spotted the bald eagle. Believing the bird may have been hit by a car near the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 441 and SE Hwy. 42, Coon quickly corralled it to the side of the roadway and called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help. A short time later, a specialized wildlife rehabilitator arrived and was able to take the eagle to a facility for treatment.

Marion County Sheriff’s Dep. Austin Coon used his patrol car to block traffic last month before helping a bald eagle he believed had a broken wing.

As it turns out, the bald eagle didn’t have a broken wing but had possibly become sick by eating prey that had been poisoned. After some days of treatment, recovery and rehabilitation, the majestic bird – the bald eagle was adopted as the national bird symbol of the United States in 1782 – took flight and returned to the skies where it belongs.