Not all bald eagle rescue stories end so happily.
But the bald eagle saved from the middle of a busy Chester County highway in a motorcyclist’s flannel shirt has been successfully rehabbed and released back into wild.
Motorcyclist Dandon Miller of Lancaster, who stepped up to help the bird stranded on a Route 30 bypass in Downingtown on May 25, received a Compassionate Action Award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Miller was on his bike when he hit a traffic jam and saw the injured eagle. Someone tried to nudge the bird off the highway but it wasn’t budging, according to Miller.
Miller took his off his favorite flannel shirt, flung it over the bird and was able to grab the bird without hurting it or himself, according to a number of media accounts including “the dodo” website.
He held the bird swaddled in his flannel shirt for 45 minutes waiting for wildlife rescuers to arrive. They took the eagle to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.
The rehabilitation facility performed wing surgery on the bird and nurtured the eagle back to health.
On Tuesday, Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research reported that the Downingtown bald eagle was “free to soar once more!”
They released the bird back to the wild, reporting the bird made a full recovery.
“Wildlife rehabilitation is not easy, and we are incredibly grateful to all of you in the community who supported us with kind words and donations,” the rescue center posted.
PETA commended Miller for rescuing the bird.
“Dandon Miller showed selflessness and compassion by literally taking the shirt off his back to help an injured bird,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA hopes his kind example will inspire people everywhere to stop and help any animal in trouble.”
Miller will receive a framed certificate and a box of vegan cookies from PETA.
“I do love animals,” Miller told PETA, “and I wouldn’t want to see any animal get hurt.”