|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
Next week the eagle, in a special flight kennel donated by the Eagle Roofing Company, will be loaded aboard a Delta Airlines jet at Salt Lake City International Airport for a complimentary flight to a bird rehabilitation facility elsewhere in the West. There a bird rehabilitator will help the golden regain and hone its flight skills, and then the bird will be returned to the wild.
"It looks like this story will have a happy ending," said Ralph Morgenweck, Regional Director for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Denver. "And a lot of credit -- and our gratitude -- goes to Delta Airlines and Eagle Roofing."
The saga of the injured golden began last July when Gary McKell, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer, discovered it not far from Cedar City, Utah. The bird had a damaged foot, possibly from being caught in a trap. After treatment by a St. George, Utah, veterinarian, the bird was turned over to raptor rehabilitator Justin Neighbor.
"Under Justin's care," according to Service Special Agent Gary Young, "the eagle has recovered to the point where all its physical wounds have healed. The next step is its flight rehabilitation and training."
Because the federal wildlife agency has been operating on limited funding and could not afford to carry out the completion of the bird's rehabilitation, Special Agent Young sought help within the business community. "I am particularly grateful to Rick Osborn, the regional representative for Eagle Roofing Company." The Southern California based firm arranged for the purchase of the kennel that will transport the eagle, and Eagle Roofing has agreed to allow the Service to retain the kennel for future use.
"The people at Delta -- especially Air Cargo Supervisor Roger England -- have been great, too," Young added. "It's really encouraging to see this kind of concern and involvement. We hope they know how much we appreciate their help."
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