D.C.’s metro system may have a few problems with their elevators and escalators, but it does have a warm heart.
We know this because on Saturday, a special Metro train rolled down the rails on one of the transit system’s more unusual missions: saving an injured bald eagle.
The bird was spotted a few days earlier inside the fence that lines the Blue Line in Alexandria, Virginia, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.
Metro reports that they received a call from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia (RCV) about the eagle, which RCV had been monitoring for two days after a citizen reported the eagle’s location.
After finding the eagle, Metro Transit Police contacted Alexandria Animal Control and RCV for assistance. Wildlife specialists were dispatched to check out the injured bird, and they determined that the eagle, which apparently had a broken wind, could not fly out on its own.
And the rescue mission swung into action!
From The Washington Post:
Carrying wildlife specialists and transit police, the rescue train headed from King Street to pick up the eagle, about 300 yards outside the Van Dorn Street station, behind the 5300 block of Eisenhower Avenue. Regularly scheduled trains were routed onto single tracks around the site for a time.
The bird was found, stabilized and taken to the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia in Falls Church for rehabilitation and eventual release, Metro said.
Making that decision was probably a whole lot more complicated than The Post describes. After all, bald eagles aren’t exactly tame animals, so I’m sure the actual handling of this magnificent creature with its huge talons and sharp peak took plenty of planning.
What this eagle was doing so close to D.C remains a mystery, but thanks to everyone involved in this rescue, including the people who took the time to report it in the first place.
And best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Instantly recognisable as the national emblem of the United States, the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) has long been a key symbol in the human cultures of the Americas. The second largest North American bird of prey after the Californian condor , the bald eagle is also the only eagle solely native to North America. This majestic species is named for the conspicuous white head, which, contrary to the name, is in fact fully feathered, and contrasts strongly with the dark brown body and wings. The tail is also white, and the legs, eye and large beak are bright yellow. The wings are long and broad, and the tail rounded. The female bald eagle is larger than the male, but otherwise similar in appearance. The call of this species is relatively weak, seeming rather inadequate for such a large bird. (Source)