ST. MARY’S COUNTY, Md. – On the morning of January 18th, St. Mary’s County resident Jennifer Harvey was on her way to work after dropping off her daughter Reagan at school when suddenly, she saw a bald eagle lying in the middle of the road. With resolute immediacy, she pulled her truck off to the side of the road in order to help the injured animal.
Her initial inclination was to take her coat and wrap it around the bird. “I scooped him up in my arms like a wounded toddler. I know it sounds crazy, but I cradled and rocked that enormous raptor like a baby for an hour while I happily waited for Wildlife Rescue to arrive. Thankfully, he was incredibly calm and peaceful the entire time I was holding him.”Harvey said.
She felt blessed to have the honor of saving such a beautiful and majestic national treasure.
While Harvey waited for help to arrive, three generous strangers offered to keep her company – Steve, Mary, and Dave. Dave Edwards works with Gentle Hands Wildlife Services and waited with Harvey.
St. Mary’s Animal Control was notified of the incident.
John of St. Mary’s County Animal Control arrived minutes later and assessed the extent of the eagle’s injuries by gently stretching out its wings and checking every bit of the animal from beak to talon.
Fortunately, the animal had no signs of any broken bones, just a sprained right wing. It is suspected that the eagle was hit by a car earlier that morning. A few cuts were also visible on its talons.
Once its condition was satisfactorily assessed, the bird was then transported by animal control to a holding facility until a more specialized rescue group could give care to the eagle.
“Superficially, he still looked stunning. Heavenly, if I’m being honest. Fortunately, he wasn’t mangled up in any way – he just couldn’t fly. He was wide-eyed and alert, and didn’t seem disoriented or lethargic.” Harvey said.
Gentle Hands Wildlife Services shared on their Facebook page, “Thanks to all that were involved and were willing to help out. Teamwork pays off.” Harvey finished with this sentiment, “I am so indescribably blessed to have had the honor of holding this sacred national treasure against my heart for an hour! It literally felt like I was holding America in my arms. I know I don’t have the actual ability to name him, but I’m calling the eagle Freedom.”
For more information on Gentle Hands Wildlife Services, please visit their Facebook page here.
All photos courtesy of Gentle Hands Wildlife Services.
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