It an incident that is quintessentially American, an Army veteran saw a baby bald eagle trapped high in a tree and decided to do something about it.
Jason Galvin says he saw the bird dangling upside down near the end of a tree branch about 75 feet in the air near his cabin in Rush City, Minnesota. Galvin could see the bird’s foot was somehow caught in a rope.
It turns out it had been dangling up there two days.
Galvin and his wife Jackie called multiple agencies but they say the government bureaucrats all declined to try to help our national bird.
“I told them they were wrong and it was very much alive and somebody needed to help it immediately!” Jackie Galvin says, according to a Facebook post. “They all said sorry but there was nothing they could do.
“I told Jason he had to shoot it free! He was nervous as he didn’t want to get in trouble for shooting at an eagle but I know with his sharp shooter skills that if anyone would save this eagle it was him!”
So that’s exactly what Galvin, who did two tours of duty in Afghanistan, set out to do.
The former Army sharp shooter borrowed a neighbor’s .22 rifle and sought to free the bird by shooting the tiny rope trapping it.
Galvin contacted Phil Mohs, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, to gain approval for his rescue attempt.
“He told me he was a veteran in the service and he wouldn’t do it if he couldn’t do it safely,” Mohs tells KARE 11.
Mohs watched Galvin’s progress through a pair of binoculars as the veteran proceeded to take 150 shots over and hour and a half attempting to free the bird.
“It was slow precise shots. When it was perfect, I’d take the shot and then I’d wait, take the other shot,” he says, as the conditions were windy.
Galvin eventually severed the rope and the bird fell to some branches below, where Mohs was able to retrieve the eagle, cage it and transport it to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center for treatment.
“It rode in the front seat with me and the whole time his head was up and he was alert. It looked good considering it had been hanging there for two days,” he tells the news station.
“It was a good weekend for it to happen,” Galvin says. “Fourth of July, you know, that’s our bird. I can’t let it sit there.”
“We named the eagle Freedom and hope to be able to release him near his home once he is back to health!” Jackie writes.