Police Dispatcher, Animal Control Officer Save Bald Eagle In West Newbury

Photo: West Newbury PD

WEST NEWBURY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A West Newbury Police dispatcher and an animal control officer joined forces to help save an injured bald eagle that was found on the banks of the Merrimack River this past weekend.

West Newbury Police said two of its officers responded to a call at around 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 31 to reports of an injured eagle near River Road. After locating the injured bald eagle, they called for backup from Animal Control.

Animal Control Officer Kayla Provencher responded to the scene joined by West Newbury Dispatcher Bob Pierce, who joined responders at the riverbank because he had experience helping wounded eagles, according to West Newbury Police Chief Michael Dwyer. Several years ago, Pierce helped two injured baby bald eagles that were nesting in his yard and had left their nest too early.

When responders arrived at the scene, they were worried the eagle get scared and flee into the river, which would make it difficult to catch because bald eagles are fast and excellent swimmers. Pierce stood in the river to block the eagle from entering the water while Provencher captured the bird using a combination of a net with some blankets and towels.

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The two then worked in the brush on the side of the river to get the eagle out of the net and into an animal crate. Provencher said they had to wear thick gloves to protect themselves from the eagle's talons and beak.

"At one point he grabbed my gloves with his talons and I could feel the pressure," Provencher said. "I could not just pull my hand away so I had to wait for him to release."

Once the two got the eagle into the crate, it was taken to a local wildlife hospital and eventually transferred to the Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Medical Center in Grafton for further treatment.

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