Bald eagle shot a year ago recovers

Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — Nearly a year after it was shot, a juvenile bald eagle that has been recuperating at the Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center is flying again. It likely is to be released into the wild in the spring.

“We are tentatively hoping to be able to release the eagle sometime next year once the weather improves,” said Matthew Randazzo, spokesman for the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity run by Jaye Moore in Sequim.

The male eagle was found wounded by shotgun fire near Beaver, nine miles outside Forks, on Dec. 15. It was only a few months old.

The shotgun blast broke the bird’s ulna bone in its left wing and sent bits of shrapnel through the surrounding soft tissue. Moore and other volunteers were uncertain it would ever fly again.

The eagle underwent multiple surgeries to set the bone and remove bone fragments from the fracture site at Greywolf Veterinary Hospital.

It died and was resuscitated on several occasions, Randazzo said.

The eagle’s plight was featured in newspaper and television stories across the world.

The person who illegally shot the national symbol has never been found.

Bald eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife. A first-offense violation of the act can result in a fine of $100,000, imprisonment for one year or both. Penalties increase for additional offenses, and a second violation of the act is a felony.

Tips may be reported to the center by phoning state Fish and Wildlife at 877-933-9847 or by emailing Randazzo at Matthew@NWRaptorCenter.com.

The all-volunteer center has begun its annual holiday fundraising to keep it going through the winter.

“No one at the raptor center takes a single cent in salary, and all the money goes directly to the care of the critters,” said Moore, who has been rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife for three decades on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Matthew and Melissa Randazzo — both volunteers at the raptor center — will bring birds to and present information at the noon meeting of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce today.

The meeting will be at the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St.

Those interested in donating may visit www.facebook.com/northwestraptorcenter or www.NWRaptorcenter.com or send checks in care of Melissa Randazzo to P.O. Box 2462, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

Last modified: December 11. 2011 5:38PM
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