Golden Eagle Rescued from Slot Canyon

The release of this Golden Eagle will take place on Friday, July 21st at 11am at Brian Head Peak.

This eagle was rescued thanks to the efforts of Jim and Caitlin of Utah Canyon Outdoors and the Bureau of Land Management – Utah.

Even more thanks to Jim and Caitlin for their promotions of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc​ and raising funds of over $600!

Caitlin recounts the experience:

Since it was late at night when I dropped the eagle off at Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc I was too tired to tell the entire rescue story and I’d like to make sure to give credit where credit is due because there is NO WAY I would have been able to rescue the eagle on my own!

Friday afternoon Jim Clery had just gotten back to our shop, Utah Canyon Outdoors from a guided hike and showed me the photo of the eagle they had discovered in the canyon and told me it looked like it had been there for a few days. Worried about how much longer this animal could survive, I immediately called up to the Interagency office and told them the situation and asked if they could notify the wildlife ranger and if there was anyone that could respond, they said they’d find out and call back.

Just a few minutes later, BLM Ranger Michael Thompson calls and says he can help and asks if I can show him where the eagle was stuck. Absolutely, I’ll be ready in five. Done, and off we go.

We hiked in as fast as we could in the afternoon heat and entered the slot canyon from the bottom, not sure how far up the eagle might be trapped. Within a few bends of narrow, twisting canyon and a small up climb, I poked my head around the corner and SURPRISE! There he was. He seemed massive. Even in his poor condition he was as big as a turkey. We later learned he was born this year, only a baby.

I backed out of there and let Mike take over from here, he had previously handled an eagle or two while working as a ranger in Alaska and felt slightly more comfortable around talons the size of your pinky fingers… He threw the blanket over the eagle to settle it down and then swaddled it to protect himself from the talons.

Hiking out was a challenge as we tried to keep the blanket loose enough to not overheat the eagle too much while not getting ourselves in trouble with those talons – or that beak!

Once back at the truck we were able to get the eagle into the ‘suspect cage’ without harm to anyone and he was quite content to sit in there during the long drive back and look out the window with the A/C on. The one time he opened his wings a bit was when a raven flew by and caught his eye. It was pretty incredible to see this amazing animal so up close. I was praying inside with every fiber of my being that we would make it to Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc in time.

On the way back I had gotten a hold of Jim and told him the story and he gave the heads up to Martin Tyner of SWF in Cedar City that we’d be bringing him an eagle that night in bad shape. Jim also called our friends Nate & Kristina Waggoner in search of a kennel to transport the eagle to Cedar City and they jumped to help, bringing over a large kennel just as we arrived with the eagle.

It was a quick transition and soon I was on the road heading towards Cedar City, with little traffic I arrived at Martin’s house around 10:45pm. As soon as I arrived Martin burst into action and had the eagle out of the cage and into his arms with the grace and ease of scooping up a baby. I could immediately sense his deep knowledge and love of these animals and it instantly calmed my nerves and worrying about this eagle. He was in the best hands and if anyone could save him, it was this man.

I’ve attached a link to a video of the feeding & fluids Martin immediately gave to the eagle as soon as we got in the door. Afterwards he showed me the runs where we put the eagle in for the night and he let me peek in at a beautiful Great Horned Owl that was released yesterday at a solstice celebration in Parowan Gap. He also introduced me to Scout, his education Golden Eagle and hunting partner.

I sat with Martin and his wonderful wife Susan in their living room and they told me about their foundation, the work they do rehabilitating wildlife and their vision for Cedar Canyon Nature Center. I was humbled and inspired by their passion for their work and the wildlife they heal, their quiet kindness and absolute dedication to DOING GOOD in this world.

This experience has impacted me greatly and I’m humbled at being a part of saving a life like this. I encourage you all to go to http://www.gowildlife.org and support their great work with a donation. The foundation is funded entirely on public support and donations, thank you for helping the rehabilitation and release of wildlife in Southern Utah!