Eagle set free weeks after it was found tangled in fishing line

A small crowd of wildlife lovers gathered to watch the release of a two-year-old bald eagle Saturday following the bird's successful rehabilitation.

Eagle originally discovered wrapped in fishing line on banks of Red River in Middlechurch, Man.

This two-year-old bald eagle was released by the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Saturday. (Thomas Asselin/Radio-Canada)

A small crowd of wildlife lovers gathered to watch the release of a two-year-old bald eagle Saturday following the bird's successful rehabilitation.

Lisa Tretiak, president of the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (PWRC), led the crowd through the process.

The eagle was rescued May 27 after being found entangled in fishing line along the banks of the Red River in the Middlechurch, Man., area.
The bird's leg and wing had been caught in fishing wire. (Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre/Facebook)

After spending a few weeks under the care of the centre, the bird was deemed healthy enough to get back in the air.

Tretiak said the PWRC used the release ceremony as a chance to educate the public about what risks things like fishing line and hooks, as well as garbage, present for wildlife.
About 25 people gathered to watch the release, including this group of curious kids. (Thomas Asselin/Radio-Canada)

"We just really want to encourage people to really clean up after themselves and to show that we've helped this animal go back into the wild," Tretiak said. "It's really important to not release things into the environment unless [they] can break down fairly quickly."

The eagle was reluctant to leave the confines of its cage at first but after some gentle coaxing from staff it spread its wings and took off.
Lisa Tretiak, president of Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, kneels beside the kennel containing the bald eagle after opening the door to set it free. (CBC)
The eagle hopped up and out of its cage before it took off. (CBC)

"It can see a lot of the audience here so it can be a little intimidating," Tretiak said. "It does take them a while to adjust to knowing there are a bunch of eyes staring at them before they will leave the safety of the enclosure.

"He's quite excited to get back out there as you could see with his liftoff."

Tretiak expects the bird will get back in flying shape in no time. 

After some encouragement from Tretiak and other staff, the bird flew off. (CBC)

With files from Thomas Asselin