Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King points to a juvenile bald eagle shortly after its release in the Cowichan Valley following its recovery from being poisoned. Three more eagles are still recovering. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King points to a juvenile bald eagle shortly after its release in the Cowichan Valley following its recovery from being poisoned. Three more eagles are still recovering. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

VIDEO: Recovery and release of poisoned eagles continues in Cowichan Valley

Second bird set free, three more remain in care

The mother and daughter who discovered the first two of what ultimately turned out to be 12 poisoned bald eagles in the Cowichan Valley had the opportunity on Thursday afternoon to watch the release of one of the birds.

Deb Cvitanovich spotted the first eagle as she left for work on the morning of Jan. 16, and had her daughter, Deana, call rescuers when it was still in the same place as she left for school. A second bird was found on their property later that day, and 10 more were located in the area four days later. In all, six live eagles and six dead eagles were found.

The first eagle that recovered was returned to the wild last Sunday, and the second was released on Thursday.

It was an emotional moment for the Cvitanoviches as they watched the bird fly off.

“It was really neat to see that dog crate door open with that eagle in it, and it just took off, happy and healthy,” Deb said. “So nice to see it go into the wild. I almost needed the Kleenex, but I’m OK now.”

“It’s really cool to see it back out there where it belongs,” Deana added.

Raptor Rescue Centre volunteer Isaac King had the honour of opening the cage to set the eagle free on Thursday.

“We’re really happy with how it turned out,” he said. “Nice strong flight. He found a good perch, and we’re happy with that.”

READ MORE: Positive prognosis for poisoned Cowichan Valley eagles

Of the six eagles that were found alive, two have now been released, one passed away in care up-Island, and the other three are still recovering.

“We’ve got two more up there under the care of North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre,” King explained. “Just while they stretch their wings and stay under observation as we make sure that after the poisoning symptoms fade that there’s no secondary issues that crop up, various injuries or complications that might have occurred.”

READ MORE: 12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Another bird remains in care at the Duncan facility, and will probably take longer to recover as he sustained wrist trauma prior to his rescue.

“We figure he either took a hard landing out of a tree or bumped into something as he came down because of his poor condition,” King said.

The birds are believed to have fed off the carcass of a euthanized farm animal that was not properly disposed of. An investigation by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service is underway. Conservation officers were not available for comment on Thursday.

Anyone who finds a dead or sick eagle should contact the Raptor Rescue Society at 778-936-0732.



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Penny Hart is calling on the community to help find her son Sean Hart who was last seen on Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health issues apology over racist practices in health care system

Report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond finds ‘widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people’

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

Most Read