Police officers rescued an injured bald eagle from thick brush on the bank of the Merrimack River in West Newbury on Sunday, according to police.
At approximately 2:08 p.m., West Newbury police officers responded to a report of the injured bird on River Road in a brush-covered area next to the river bank, the West Newbury Police Department said in a statement this week.
Officers located the eagle and called Animal Control Officer Kayla Provencher for assistance, police said. Dispatcher Bob Pierce, who had experience with injured eagles, responded with her.
Pierce entered the river to prevent the eagle from fleeing into the water, as Provencher said that eagles are excellent swimmers and it would be difficult to catch and help the bird if it went in, police said.
Provencher captured the bird with a long net as well as some blankets and towels, police said in the statement. Pierce then worked with Provencher to remove the eagle from the net and put it into an animal crate without further injury, police said.
The officers wore thick gloves and took precautions to protect themselves from the eagle’s talons and beak, which were potentially dangerous to them, police said.
“At one point he grabbed my gloves with his talons and I could feel the pressure,” Provencher said in the statement. “I could not just pull my hand away so I had to wait for him to release.”
The officers transported the eagle to a local wildlife rehabilitation center, which later transferred it to the Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Medical Center in Grafton for treatment, police said.