Sergeant the bald eagle was having a bad day.
It was early June, near Taghum Beach, and the majestic raptor found himself lake-splashing and waterlogged, incapable of taking to the air. That’s when an unfamiliar human came to the rescue.
“Sergeant was found by a member of the public in the water, struggling, and the person who picked him up thought maybe he had a broken wing,” conservation officer Cynthia Mann told the Star. “We then took the bird to the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls.”
Once the vet gave Sergeant — who was named after Mann — a once over, it turned out he wasn’t injured. But by that point he was extremely dehydrated and stressed. The staff helped rehabilitate him for his Kootenay return.
Then, on Wednesday, Mann drove him back to where his mate was waiting.
“We’re pretty sure he has a mate in the area, so it was important for us to bring him home to where we found him so they can reconnect.”
The Star was on hand for Sergeant’s blanket-lifting, and though Mann was concerned the raptor may be sky-shy he instantly unfurled his wings and coasted into a nearby tree.
He left behind a 12-inch feather to be remembered by.