Golden eagle rehabilitated, returned to the skies

DEARY, Idaho – An injured golden eagle was successfully returned to the wild March 22 near Deary, Idaho.

The bird was discovered unable to fly near Okanogan, Wash., several months ago and was referred to the raptor rehabilitation team at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Wing fractures of unknown origin prevented the bird from flying and have since healed successfully. Before it was sent to WSU, it was thought that the bird, although healed, may not fly again. Thanks to several months of care and retraining the eagle has made a full recovery.

Healed eagle takes flight

Before the release, the Potlatch Corporation donated $25,000 to the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Raptor Rehabilitation Fund. The cash gift is earmarked specifically for construction of an eagle flight training enclosure; a structure WSU has needed but never had.

“This gift is a Godsend,” said Erik Stauber, veterinarian and head of the college’s Raptor Rehabilitation program for more than two decades. “For many years, this college has worked hard to care for raptors and whenever possible return them to the wild. Medical care for these birds is a vital component of a complete professional veterinary education, our ethics, and our sense of compassion. It is remarkable that a major corporation like Potlatch wisely understands the value of these birds and shares our concern for their well-being and the well-being of the environment we share. We are very thankful to Potlatch for this extraordinary gift.”

Potlatch donation boosts growing raptor program at WSU Vet Med

“Potlatch has had a long and mutually beneficially relationship with WSU’s veterinary college and specifically the raptor center,” said Brent Stinnett, Potlatch’s resource vice president. “We are pleased to continue to support the university in this important effort to do our part in helping ensure the survival of raptors on both public and private lands.”

“Potlatch’s 660,000 acres of Idaho forestlands are home to many species of raptors, so it makes good sense for Potlatch to share data and knowledge about raptors with WSU,” said Potlatch’s wildlife biologist Brian Moser. “We conduct ongoing cooperative research projects with the college that not only help the scientific community, but directly benefit the birds themselves.”

“Corporate entities like Potlatch Corporation take stewardship of their lands and associated wildlife very seriously,” said Warwick Bayly, dean of WSU’s veterinary college. “If we can be of service to that effort and responsibility, I believe it sets a moral benchmark for our students.”

Dr. Stauber believes the long term chances for success are “very good.”

 (Photos by Henry Moore Jr., WSU College of Veterinary Medicine)

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