A rare rescue took place early Wednesday morning after Lakeland firefighters were called to save an American bald eagle who was stuck in a tree and tangled in wire.
Lakeland city officials say homeowners on Cheverly Drive West spotted the eagle some time before 7 a.m. They told first responders the bird is a resident, and can often be seen perching on trees around a nearby lake. That’s likely how it ended up catching its left wing in some wire that was attached to a tree in the area.
In addition to the Lakeland Fire Department, 21 others from state and city agencies, as well as wildlife volunteer groups were called to assist in the rescue. Together, they formed and executed a plan.
Parks and Recreation crew members climbed the tree and cut the eagle loose. The LFD battalion chief was in a kayak just below, and used a net to catch the bird as it fell.
Rescue personnel, a state biologist and a county Animal Control representative were all on hand just in case, but reports say the rescue was a success.
The eagle was injured and exhausted from attempts to untangle itself, and will now be rehabilitated by Fish and Wildlife Commission officials before being released back into the wild.