MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A year ago we brought you the story of an unlikely rescue; one perfect for the Fourth of July.
Army veteran Jason Galvin saved a baby bald eagle near his Rush City home, by using a rifle to shoot the twine it was caught on.
The eaglet fell 70 feet to one of Galvin’s neighbors and a conservation officer below.
One year later the bird, fittingly named Freedom, has a new home.
“I was very nervous. I didn’t want at all to hit that bird,” said Galvin last July.
When the fire department couldn’t reach a young eagle dangling from a tree for two days, Jason Galvin got permission from the DNR to use his own eagle eye.
“Took an hour and a half. About 150 shots. I had to bust down a few branches to expose the rope and then finally started chipping the rope away,” said Galvin.
Galvin’s patriotic persistence saved the young eagle. But turns out, that was just the beginning.
“I’m going to say the first 6 months, at least daily we got a call or an email asking,” said Gail Buhl.
People called the U of M Raptor Center where Freedom was taken, wondering what happened to him?
Freedom had been caught in discarded twine used to build his nest.
He made a full recovery, but that twine he was caught in damaged his talons, making it hard to hunt for fish.
“So it was decided that we couldn’t heal that, and so that he needed to be a permanent resident,” said Buhl.
Now, the eagle who almost lost his life in a tree, will spread his wings in a different way.
“His whole life basically changed,” Dan Hnilicka
Hnilicka is Freedom’s trainer. When he’s ready, Dan will take him to libraries, classrooms and county fairs. Together, they’ll educate people about the impact they have on the environment.
“We, as humans, don’t even realize most of those issues that we cause. And so hopefully his story is able to teach folks how important it is, the decisions that we make, they don’t just affect us,” said Hnilicka.
It’s possible that Freedom was attempting to fly for the first time when he got tangled in the twine that was in his nest.
It will likely be sometime next spring before he is confident and comfortable enough to go into a classroom.