Rescued eagle turns out to be a wildlife star

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on March 8, 2011 at 7:03 PM

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- When Washington Fish & Wildlife officers rescued her, she was just a helpless, inured eagle, wallowing in a muddy farm field near Duvall.

But they would soon realize the juvenile bald eagle is a reality TV star.

She's a young celebrity whose birth and childhood were all closely watched on a web cam featuring the eagles of Catalina Island in California. She even has a Facebook page.

Thousands of regular viewers watched her grow up and were worried when she recently disappeared. 

For reasons unknown and in the dead of winter, the young eagle flew north from sunny Southern California about 1,000 miles to cold, rainy Western Washington.

Also unknown is how she got injured. X-rays show she has a broken wing that was healing wrong.

Clinic workers at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center are nursing the bird back to health but say her wild days may be over. Her wing probably wouldn't withstand the rigors of regular hunting, mating or another 1,000 mile trek.

But her celebrity days are continuing. The Sarvey staff says e-mails are pouring in from web cam fans thrilled to know the bird is okay, and thank the workers for saving her. Sarvey workers say the young eagle could continue to entertain as an education eagle at a wildlife facility that can perform short demonstration flights and promote awareness.

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