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Valley News Dispatch

Bald eagle freed from leg trap appeared healthy

Mary Ann Thomas
| Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, 6:15 p.m.
A bald eagle in Lebanon County was seen this week with a leg-hold trap attached to one of its legs. U.S. Army staff from Fort Indiantown Gap were able to remove the trap and the eagle appeared to be healthy when it was released.
Courtesy of Sue Boardman.
A bald eagle in Lebanon County was seen this week with a leg-hold trap attached to one of its legs. U.S. Army staff from Fort Indiantown Gap were able to remove the trap and the eagle appeared to be healthy when it was released.

Perched on the arm of a bucket truck, U.S. Army staff from Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County saved a bald eagle that was entangled in a tree with its leg stuck in a trap.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported the rescue on its Facebook page late Thursday afternoon.

Game Commission staff believe it is the same bird that was photographed Sunday, flying around with the trap dangling from its leg near Gettysburg on Sunday.

A hiker spotted the entangled bald eagle in a tree at Fort Indiantown Gap Wednesday, according to the Game Commission. The wildlife program staff at the military base used a bucket truck to reach the bird stuck more than 30 feet high in the tree. They were able to open the trap to release the eagle.

“The bird appeared healthy and alert and eventually flew off,” according to the Game Commission.

The trap did not have the required trapper identification tag, according to the agency.

It also appears that the trap might have been set illegally, according to the Game Commission. It is illegal to set a trap with bait visible from the air, a rule designed to protect birds of prey such as bald eagles.

The bird's photo, taken Sunday in Bonneauville, a town about five miles from Gettysburg, went viral on Facebook.

The photographer, Susan Boardman, said she watched the eagle on the ground for about 10 minutes before seeing the leg trap, attached to a long chain, when it started to fly away.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com. The Associated Press contributed.

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