By Debbie Gregory.
A U.S. army veteran saved the life of a bald eagle by using a semi-automatic rifle and his sharp-shooting skills to free the bird, which was trapped in a tree.
Jason Galvin and his wife, Jackie, noticed the eagle ensnared in rope around its leg, hanging 70 feet above ground from a tree, near Rush City, Minnesota.
Galvin used a borrowed .22-caliber rifle with a scope to sever the four inch thick rope after firing 150 shots. Galvin never hit the eagle.
The bird tumbled 75 feet to the ground. The couple wrapped it in a blanket and took it to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center.
“We named the eagle Freedom and hope to be able to release him near his home once he is back to health!” Jackie Galvin wrote on Facebook.
Although Galvin was facing windy conditions which made the shot difficult, he was determined to free the bird.
“It was a good weekend for it to happen,” Galvin said. “Fourth of July, you know, that’s our bird. I can’t let it sit there.”
Since June 20, 1782, the bald eagle has been the emblem of the United States of America, chosen because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent.
The Galvins initially called the police and fire departments after spotting the bird, but because it was so high up, the agencies were not able to help and “deemed this was going to be a loss.”
Before taking aim, Galvin also cleared his plan with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Phil Mohs, a conservation officer from the department, gave Galvin the go-ahead, believing the eagle would die in the tree if left alone.
The federally protected bird has been eating and drinking, although its long-term prognosis is unclear.