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Indianapolis animal control officers rescue injured Bald Eagle

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 22:49:12-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) helps all kinds of animals, whether they have fur or feathers.

In a social media post, IACS says a concerned citizen reported a large bird in distress. Upon arrival, animal control officers found a juvenile Bald Eagle with injuries to its eye and wing.

The bird was safely transported to the shelter, where a licensed wildlife rehabilitator took over its care.

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Although the Bald Eagle was removed from the federal government's endangered species list in 2007, they weren't removed from Indiana's list of endangered species until just three years ago.

The majestic raptors had all but vanished in Indiana by the late 20th century due to habitat loss, pesticide use and other factors, with the last bald eagle nest recorded in the state in 1897.

But Indiana is now home to such a large bald eagle population that the state Natural Resources Commission removed the birds' designation as a state species of special concern in 2021.

State wildlife biologists estimate that in 2020 there were about 300 bald eagle nesting pairs across 84 Hoosier counties.

The birds remain protected by state and federal laws. The Department of Natural Resources says anyone who sees a bald eagle in Indiana should observe the birds, their nests and roosts from a distance of at least 330 feet (100.6 meters) to avoid disturbing them.

Bald eagles were reintroduced to Indiana by the department between 1985 and 1989, when 73 eaglets from Alaska and Wisconsin were raised at southern Indiana's Monroe Lake, just southeast of Bloomington, and released when they were old enough to fend for themselves.

That effort returned a breeding population to Indiana. In 1991, the state recorded its first successful bald eagle nesting, signaling that the native species was on a rebound.

The bald eagle reintroduction program was Indiana's first endangered species restoration project. Those efforts are primarily founded by donations to the Indiana Nongame Wildlife Fund.