Jason Galvin, a U.S. army veteran, has used his sharpshooting skills to save a bald eagle that had been trapped in a Minnesota tree for two and a half days. The bald eagle, or Haliaeetus leucocephalus, is a federally protected bird, but the sheriff’s office, city hall, fire department, the state conservation officer, and the University of Minnesota Raptor Center all said there was nothing they could do to save the bird that was trapped 75 feet in the air, according to the ABC.
Mr Galvin joked with his wife that he would have to shoot the bird down when everyone else turned away. His wife responded by telling him “that’s what you’re going to do,” according to KARE 11.
That is when Jason Galvin took matters into his own hands and shot the bald eagle down.
Jason’s wife Jackie Gervais Galvin of Rush City, Minnesota, took to Facebook and shared her husband’s life-saving actions after everyone else turned away.
“They said it had been there for 2 1/2 days and that there was nothing they could do,” she wrote.
“[They said that] the eagle had died and the movement we saw was only the wind blowing it.
“I told them they were wrong and it was very much alive and somebody needed to help it immediately!”
“It was windy [and] he only had about 4″ of rope to shoot without hitting the eagle.”
“An hour and a half later and 150 bullets, the eagle broke free from the branch and fell 75 feet into the trees of the woods.”
Jason Galvin used a borrowed.22-caliber rifle with a scope to sever the four-inch rope after firing 150 shots into the tree and “mowing down” surrounding branches. Galvin never hit the eagle, but he did hit a lot of branches. Mr Galvin said that high winds made the shot difficult, but he was determined to free the bird and said the bald eagle was lucky that it was a long weekend.
“It was a good weekend for it to happen,” Galvin said. “Fourth of July, you know, that’s our bird. I can’t let it sit there.”
Mr Gavin was worried that he would hit the bald eagle and get into trouble because it is a protected bird, but his wife Jackie trusted his sharp shooting, as he was part of two tours in Afghanistan.
Galvin ran the idea of shooting the bird down by a Minnesota DNR conservation officer, Phil Mohs, who gave him the go-ahead, saying the eagle would die if left in the tree anyway.
Once he severed the rope that had trapped the bird for two and a half days, it fell 75 feet to the ground, exhausted but free. The couple named the bald eagle “Freedom,” wrapped him up in a blanket, and handed him over to Phil Mohs, who took him to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center.
“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,” Mohs said.
A veterinarian at the University of Minnesota Raptor Center said Freedom the bald eagle was eating and drinking and should be fine. The vet estimated the bird to be younger than five years old, as it still has a mostly dark head and tail; adult bald eagles have white heads and tails with dark brown bodies and wings.
Jackie Galvin said the eagle’s rescue was an emotional experience and that there were “a lot of tears.”
“When it finally came down, it was breathtaking. It was a beautiful moment.”
Bald eagles are featured on US currency and are the presidential seal. The bird was adopted as the national U.S. bird symbol in 1782.
[Image via Shutterstock]