Injured bald eagle rescued from river bank in West Newbury

WEST NEWBURY, Mass. — Police and animal control officers rescued an injured bald eagle from the Merrimack River bank in West Newbury Sunday afternoon.

Police Sgt. Rich Parenteau and Officer Matt Dixon responded to River Road shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and found the eagle in a brush-covered area next to the river bank.

Animal Control Officer Kayla Provencher and dispatcher Bob Pierce, who has experience with injured bald eagles, assisted at the scene.

Provencher said eagles are excellent swimmers and very fast on their feet, which posed a challenge to rescuers. Pierce went into the river to prevent the eagle from fleeing in that direction, and Provencher captured the bird using a long net, blankets and towels.

The pair then transferred the eagle to an animal crate without further injury.

“At one point he grabbed my gloves with his talons and I could feel the pressure,” Provencher said in a statement. “I could not just pull my hand away, so I had to wait for him to release.”

The eagle was taken to a local wildlife rehabilitation center and then transferred to the Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Medical Center in Grafton.

“We respond to a wide variety of emergencies in West Newbury, and I am proud of the teamwork that was on display during this complex call,” said Newbury Police Chief Dwyer. “Our dispatchers, police officers, and animal control take pride in their service to our community.”

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