Jeff Guidry

Jeff Guidry

WEEKEND: Freedom the eagle, caretaker land in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Animal rehabilitation volunteer and author Jeff Guidry and his longtime friend Freedom, a bald eagle, will come to Port Townsend on Saturday.

Guidry’s presentation will be at 2 p.m. at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s Natural History Exhibit in Fort Worden State Park.

Admission is $5, $3 for children and free for Port Townsend Marine Science Center members.

“This is such an excellent learning experience for the whole family,” said Anne Murphy, director of the center.

“In addition to meeting Freedom, visitors will hear Jeff share information about eagle behavior, habitats and life cycles,” she added.

Jack, a 4-year-old retired sled dog, will accompany the two to demonstrate the interspecies bond that has developed between the eagle and dog.

From the moment Guidry, a guitarist who lives in Monroe, saw the emaciated baby eagle with broken wings 14 years ago, his life was changed, he wrote in An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, published in May 2010.

For weeks, he worked with the staff at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center tending to the grievously injured bird.

Miraculously, she recovered, though she would never fly again.

They named her Freedom, and Guidry became her devoted caretaker.

Later, she became his, he said.

In 2000, Guidry was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

He said taking Freedom for walks soothed him and gave him strength.

He has described when he learned he was free of cancer, stopping at Sarvey to walk with Freedom, who wrapped her wings about him for the first time that day.

In addition to the presentation, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, in partnership with several businesses, is offering a “Freedom Weekend Package Getaway.”

Wildlife cruise

Puget Sound Express has a wildlife cruise to view eagles and whales in their natural habitat leaving at 9 a.m. from Point Hudson Marina on Saturday and returning by 1 p.m. in time for the presentation.

Accommodations are available at the Bishop Victorian Hotel and the Washington Hotel, with all three businesses offering a 15 percent discount. The code word is “Eagle.”

Children are welcome.

For more information, visit www.pugetsoundexpress.com, www.bishopvictorian.com and www.washingtonhotelporttownsend.com.

Both the Marine Exhibit and the Natural History Exhibit at the marine science center are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays.

For more information, phone 360-385-5582, email info@ptmsc.org or visit www.ptmsc.org.

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