Bald Eagle rescued from coyote trap returns to the wild

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(KTVI)-- It wasn't a wing and a prayer, but rather, rehab that's getting this eagle back outdoors.

"Their feet are very powerful and if they bite you it hurts too," says World Bird Sanctuary Founder Walter Crawford.  "But that's how they catch the fish.  They don't usually hunt live mammals, they'll eat dead food."

That's what peaked the curiosity of this powerful flyer, bait in an illegal coyote trap.

Two Ameren Missouri workers on a routine transmission patrol spotted the bird of prey.

"Didn't know at first what it was but as they got a little bit closer saw it was something in distress," says Ameren Missouri Manager Mary Hetz.  "They got a little closer and saw it was an eagle trying to take off and it couldn't."

"When he hit it snapped shut but he jerked enough where he only had his two toes in there," says Crawford demonstrating a coyote trap.  "This thing's got some very powerful springs on it."

Ameren contacted the World Bird Sanctuary and for the past month this national bird has been on the mend in Valley Park.

"We're out here," explains Hetz.  "We're part of this environment and we want to make sure that what we're doing has no impact and also what we can do to help along the way."

Wednesday near Labadie, that teamwork was restoring a heroic bird back to its natural habitat.

"I've been working with eagles my whole life and every one of these is just as exciting as the one before," smiles Crawford.  "You see our national symbol and being a veteran see it fly off like that after we were able to save it."

Sometimes everyone needs some r&r before grabbing some big air.

Bald Eagle rescued from coyote trap