Sharp-shooting US veteran frees bald eagle trapped in tree

Jason Galvin fired 150 rifle shots, not once hitting the bird, to bring it safely to ground


A US army veteran used his sharp-shooting skills to free a bald eagle trapped in a Minnesota tree ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, his wife said.

Jackie Gervais Galvin of Rush City, Minnesota, said on her Facebook page that the eagle had become entangled in a rope. It had hung upside down from a tree near the cabin belonging to her and her husband, Jason Galvin, for more than two days, she said.

Ms Galvin said she had called the sheriffs office, city hall, fire department and a conservation officer who all told her there was nothing they could do and that the eagle had died. She was told the movement that she saw was just the wind blowing the bird.

Mr Galvin used a borrowed .22-caliber rifle with a scope to sever the 10cm (4 inch) rope after firing 150 shots. Galvin never hit the eagle.

The bird tumbled 23m (75 feet) to the ground. The couple wrapped it in a blanket and took it to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center, Jackie Galvin said in her posting on Friday.

“We named the eagle Freedom and hope to be able to release him near his home once he is back to health!” she wrote.

The federally protected bird, or Haliaeetus leucocephalus, is featured on US currency and in the presidential seal. It was adopted as the national US bird symbol in 1782.