Bald Eagle rescued from coyote trap

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VALLEY PARK, MO (KTVI)--It was Monday morning, in a wooded area near Labadie, Missouri, when an Ameren crew inspecting the right-of-way around its power lines got quite a shock.

"One of them spotted some commotion flopping around, something they recognized was trying to take off and wasn`t getting anywhere, and they got a little bit closer and recognized what it was right away," said Mary Hetz, Ameren`s Manager of Transmission Vegetation Management.

What the crew had found was a Bald Eagle, wounded after being caught in a trap set for a coyote on private property.

The bird had managed to get free, but was too exhausted to fly, making it easy prey for a predator.

"He was just literally wings-out, lying there with his head down, totally tired which made our job a little easier," said Walt Crawford, founder of the Wildlife Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park.

Crawford and another sanctuary employee were called to the scene and helped with the capture.  They then brought the eagle back to the sanctuary`s hospital for treatment.

"Two of the toes were caught in the trap right above the talons. Fortunately it did not impale the leg," Crawford said. "That is when we have really serious problems."

They are not sure how old the eagle is, but they can tell it is an adult.  They can`t tell if it is male or female.

If the treatment goes well, the eagle could be released back into the wild in a month or so.

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