What this fisherman does for an injured bald eagle will warm your heart

Posted at 6:28 PM, Sep 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-27 12:49:22-04

DELTA, British Columbia -- A Canadian fisherman lent a helping hand to save a proud American symbol.

The angler shot video of an exhausted and hungry bald eagle swimming towards his boat earlier this month in British Columbia's Nanoose Bay.

The fisherman used a net to bring the bird aboard, but then he quickly realized something was wrong.

"I'd throw you a life jacket, but I don't have one that'll fit ya," the man says in a YouTube video. "What the heck am I going to do with you now."

The angler let the eagle rest on his boat hoping he'd be able to fly away when his water-logged wings dried out. However, after realizing the bird was sick he called a volunteer who flew it to the Owl Rescue Center a few hours.

“They end up fishing and grab onto a fish that's just too large, and instinctively they won't let go,” said Mindy Dick with the Owl Rescue Center. “That's their food and sometimes the fish can drag them under."

The bird, which is one of over 500 injured birds of prey brought to the center every year, is now in intensive care.

"Birds of prey have 60 percent mortality rate in their first year because have to learn to fly and hunt all at the same time, but this guy was lucky," said Dick.

Dick said that if the antibiotics work, the bird's chances for recovery are good.

“I would go 50/50 at this point. We're doing everything we can for medical intervention, but we have to get this infection under control," Dick said.

But Dick said that the bird would have most definitely died if he had not been rescued.

When the bird recovers he will be returned to Nanoose Bay and released back into the wild.