CHENEY, Kan. (KSNW) – An injured bald eagle is recovering at a Kansas raptor center after a group of Sedgwick County firefighters and deputies helped rescue it on Thursday.
Near Cheney, just west of Wichita, is the Eagle Valley Raptor Center; a place known for its animal rehabilitation efforts.
“We want these birds here when our children are adults and our grandchildren are adults,” said Eagle Valley Raptor Center Program Director Ken Lockwood.
With more than 20 years of experience, Lockwood prides himself on rescuing injured and orphaned birds, rehabilitating them and returning them to the wild. Lockwood said he plans to do just that with a bald eagle he and a few Sedgwick County firefighters and sheriff’s deputies saved.
“Yesterday (Thursday) morning about 7 o’clock I get a call from Sedgwick County 911 that somebody had reported a bald eagle that was down at Lake Afton and it was trying to fly, but it couldn’t get up more than 10 feet at a time,” Lockwood said.
The eagle is now in Locwood’s care. He said it will be a lengthy recover for the animal.
“He’s extremely emaciated. He’s so skinny,” he said.
Lockwood believes the eagle may be suffering from lead poisoning, possibly from eating another animal who was shot with a lead bullet.
“This coming week, we are going to take him to the vet and draw blood to check for lead levels which seems to be a problem with a lot of eagles and also X-ray him to see if there is any lead particles in his lungs or his belly or anything like that,” Lockwood said.
From there, Lockwood plans to put some weight on the Eagle and eventually bring it back to health so he can one day return it to the wild.
“When you let these birds go and those wings open up, 7-feet of wings, it’s pretty awesome and that’s my pay day when I get to do that,” he said.