On Earth Day, Friday, April 22, Great Basin Rehabilitation released a golden eagle into the wild that had been nursed back to health. The releasing of the golden eagle at the Roney residence (close to Maple Mountain High) was significant to the school since its mascot is the golden eagle and there are several large golden eagle nests close to the school. Several students from Mapleton Jr. High and Maple Mountain High were able to view the releasing of the golden eagle into the wild.
“I witnessed a golden eagle being released into the wild. This poor eagle was found by a hiker with several injuries resulting in a territorial fight with another golden eagle. The young golden eagle was captured and taken to experts that took good care of the eagle for about two weeks. To celebrate Earth Day, they released the young eagle back into the wild. It was so cool to watch it take off. I didn’t realize how large they really are,” said Joseph Felt, Maple Mountain high senior.
“Great Basin Rehabilitation acquired this specific golden eagle about three weeks ago from Pleasant Grove. The young male eagle had suffered a head injury and shoulder lacerations. As soon as his eye sight and recognition returned, he wanted out of the aviary badly. He test killed on a rabbit in the aviary,” said Patty Richards, Great Basin Rehabilitation representative.
Located in Mapleton and Springville, Great Basin Rehabilitation provides service to the citizens of Utah by affording quality rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife while encouraging understanding of all wildlife species through outreach educational opportunities. Great Basin Rehabilitation is dependent on community donations for mission funding.
Richards said, “We took the opportunity to release him on Earth Day. The Roney home is situated high, which would give him a downward slope to gain proper altitude. He flew far. I wanted to release him in Mapleton and invite the Maple Mountain High Golden Eagles to participate.”
No tracking devices are allowed on released raptors. Only wildlife that cannot be released into the wild can be placed in zoos or used for educational purposes. These permits are federal and state. Last month Great Basin Rehabilitation sent two bald eagles to the Pueblo, Colorado, zoo. For more information, follow Great Basin Rehabilitation on Facebook--Great Basin Wildlife Rescue for updates, programs and new patients.
Photos by Joseph Felt, MMHS Staff Photographer
from left to right--Kaleb Hill, Mapleton Jr. High, Patty Richards, Great Basin Rehabilitation, Meagan Porter, Mapleton Jr. High and Haley Roney, Maple Mountain High School