Injured bald eagle safe in local rehab after multi-agency rescue


JACKSON COUNTY – A joint effort of several agencies gave an injured bald eagle a chance at survival.

Jackson County Sheriff‘s Department officials said their office responded to the 7:30 a.m. call on Sunday morning. The appellant reported an injured bald eagle on US Highway 51 near the Big Muddy River just south of DeSoto.

The deputies who responded located the bird and found that it was unable to walk or fly.

These officers contacted the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Officers from this service, assisted by the JCSD and DeSoto Fire Department, were able to secure the injured bird and transport it to Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation near Carterville.

According to Free Again’s Jim Shofstall, the bird is injured but is holding on.

“We moved it outside yesterday,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Shofstall said the bird was at least 5 years old because its feathers were white.

“It takes at least five years,” he said.

They still don’t know how the bird was injured, but it could have been hit by a vehicle.

Free Again is an approved wildlife reserve and rehabilitation center. It is a non-profit organization that operates solely through the efforts of volunteers and donated funds.

The cost of rehabilitating the bird will be substantial.

“I just spent $ 350 on mice,” Shofstall said.

Donations to help the bald eagle and other animals in the care of Free Again are welcome. For help, call (618) 988-1067.

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