MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police in the south metro say officers had to help separate two bald eagles that had gotten tangled up and unable to fly.

The Apple Valley Police Department says officers responded Monday to two grounded eagles on 133rd Street, just east of Garden View Drive.

Sgt. Nick Francis said that the eagles thrashed about as officers approached until they appeared to become exhausted.

After a conservation officer wasn’t available to help, police covered the eagles with a blanket and a jacket. The plan was to untangle the birds while wearing thick gloves.

But just as police draped the covers over the birds, they freed themselves and took to the sky.

Francis explained that the eagles had likely gotten tangled up in a mid-air struggle “kind of like kids fighting.”

He says that there is an increasing population of breeding eagles in the city, adding that during this time of year it’s not uncommon to see them fighting for territory and mates.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, there are more than 700 bald eagle breeding areas across Minnesota, with about 30 active nests in the Twin Cities metro area.