FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2011
Tina Shaw, USFWS, 612-713-5331
Ed Culhane, WDNR, 715-781-1683
Seven Rehabilitated Eagles from Landfill Poisoning Returned to Wild
Raptor Education Group Executive Director Marge Gibson and staff assist in banding one of the seven eagles to be released today. Photo courtesy of the Raptor Education Group.
The largest and most successful rescue of poisoned eagles ever recorded has come to a dramatic completion today at Antigo, Wis. with the release of seven American bald eagles into the wild by the Raptor Education Group.
The eagles, poisoned at a landfill in Vilas County, were found on the ground and near death on April 9, 2011 when Raptor Education Group staff raced to the scene and transported the eagles to the Raptor Education Group rehabilitation facility in Antigo, Wis. An eighth eagle was found dead at the scene.
The investigation launched by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is ongoing and investigators cannot comment on the details of the case until it is complete.
“The cause of the poisoning has been determined and is no longer a risk to wildlife or the public,” said USFWS Special Agent Steve Stoinski, the lead investigator.
After weeks of intense care, the eagles – three adults and four juveniles – have all recovered from the toxin and are ready to be released back to the wild.
“This was a situation where everyone from the person that saw the eagles in trouble and reported it, the people that stood watch over the eagles until the Raptor Education Group Inc. team could arrive, down through the DNR and USFWS was vital to the positive outcome of this event,” said Executive Director and wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson.
Gibson went on to say that, “It has been a humbling experience to have played a part of something that began so wrong, and ended so well. We hope this event will underscore to the public how their actions can affect wildlife in a profound manner.”
“The Raptor Education Group did an excellent job rehabilitating these birds back to health and we are very pleased to see the eagles returned to the wild,” Stoinski said.
The eagle release took place beginning at 11:00 a.m. today at the Raptor Education Group, Inc. facility at N2160 W Rollwood Rd, Antigo, Wis. Check out images of the release: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest/sets/72157626735620151/.
Learn more about bald eagle recovery and the USFWS role in meeting this mission, http://www.fws.gov/midwest/eagle/recovery/index.html.
The Wisconsin DNR is an important conservation partner of the USFWS. Learn more about WDNR by visiting, http://dnr.wi.gov/.
More information about REGI is available by contacting executive director Marge Gibson at 715-623-4015 or by visiting http://www.raptoreducationgroup.org/
For more information on the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visit: http://midwest.fws.gov
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.