Auburn, Alabama —
The Southeastern Raptor Center in Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine released an adult bald eagle back into the wild on Saturday, May 11, 2013. The eagle, found nearly a year ago in one of the ponds near the Auburn Fisheries Center, is the first locally found and rehabilitated bald eagle to be released by the Raptor Center.
"It's exciting because the public and Auburn community support us in many ways," said Jamie Bellah, director of the Southeastern Raptor Center. "It's nice to be able to release an eagle where they can see them fly off into their habitat. It's a special thing."
The bird, whose gender is unknown, underwent full diagnostic tests when it was brought to the center. Tests revealed no signs of illness or major trauma, said Liz Crandall, a raptor rehabilitation specialist at the Raptor Center.
"We conducted a number of diagnostics to check out the eagle's health and except for exhibiting suppressed or poor endurance, it checked out fine," she said. "It's very unusual for us to see a bird this healthy."
The eagle recuperated and is now back in its native habitat.
A mission of the Southeastern Raptor Center is to rehabilitate injured, ill or orphaned birds of prey. Annually the center takes in between 200 and 275 birds of prey from across the Southeast and has treated and released thousands of birds back into the wild. The education unit has provided educational programs for thousands of schools, civic groups and churches in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky.
For more information about the Southeastern Raptor Center, go to http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/raptor.