When a fisherman was out on the open water he noticed a strange sight. A juvenile bald eagle, whose head had not yet turned white with age, was struggling to swim in the water. The bird was slowly headed towards the boat and visibly exhausted by the life or death swim he was laboring through. The fisherman filmed his wild encounter and can be heard on the video saying “I’d throw you a life jacket but don’t have one that’d fit ya.” After scooping up the half drowned eagle from the water he let him rest on the boat, hoping his water logged wings would dry out enough for the bird to soon fly away. But it soon became clear that this bird wasn’t simply tired and weighed down, he was extremely sick. The poor bird didn’t even have the strength to take flight, so the man decided to help.
He called a volunteer who ended up flying the eagle to the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (O.W.L), a non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to helping sick, injured or orphaned birds return to the wild. OWL Veterinarians administered tests, hand fed him, and placed the very sick and weak young eagle in intensive care. They discovered that he had an infection and would need months for recovery and antibiotics to help fight it off. The chances for his survival were estimated to be 50-50 as it was too early to tell with certainty if he’d live. However, the medical care and treatment he is receiving at the center will ensure he has a much better chance at life than the certain death he would have faced in the wild.
It is the fisherman who saved his life in the first instance, when he scooped him from the frigid water, and prevented him from drowning. It was almost as if the eagle knew the man would help him when he swam for the boat. If there was ever a moment to believe in fate, that first encounter would be it.