An early morning fishing trip for a man who works the graveyard shift at Hill Air Force base turned out to be anything but routine on Tuesday.

That fisherman came across a bald eagle but it wasn't the majestic sight most of us are used to. Instead of admiring the bird, he was forced to rescue it.

It was a shocking sight for Courtney Short.

A bald eagle, so weak, it allowed the avid Ogden fisherman to pick him up and even cradle him like a baby.

Short rushed the eagle to get help. The eagle is still alive, but not doing well.

"Once an animal like this is debilitated far enough to get down to where they're able to be captured the survival rate is very very low,” says Dalyn Erickson, with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.

To see this majestic creature slumped over in a cage is simply heartbreaking.

Erickson knew the problem right when the bird came in, lead poisoning.

"This is a huge problem not just for eagles but condors and grizzlies and all kinds of other animals,” says Erickson.

Erickson believes this eagle ate another animal that had been shot by a hunter with a lead bullet.

"If the animal does not die, if it survives the wounds and goes off and dies somewhere else, it becomes food for scavenger," she says.

They're injecting him with calcium, hoping it will filter the lead out of his system. The process could take months and even with the treatment he has a very slim chance of surviving.

Erickson says this is the second bald eagle they've gotten from this area this month who has suffered from lead poisoning.

She said the easiest way to keep tragedies like this from happening, is if hunters and fishermen stopped using lead.

VIDEO Rescue

Responses to "Fisherman rescues injured bald eagle (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lead my ass, that is a small percentage of what is in our water right now.It is the beginning of rainy season. We are three months into it, every bit of pesticide, fertilizer, herbicide, mercury, oil products, and lead maybe ?? But to say this is the only thing that are now washing into our creeks and streams making fish, and everything that drinks toxic. Or do we not remember DDT dumped into the San Fransisco bay killing every thing in its path.!! Now we have out of control POT FARMERS who could care less about the environment, and everything in it. I have seen this first hand.To pinpoint lead only is just uneducated.

  2. Unknown says:

    they should have shipped him to wild heart in oklahoma...

  3. Anonymous says:

    Eagle to the Fisherman: "I know you don't believe me, but I'm talon you... it was THAT BIG! I almost caught him, but that shark flipped his tail at me and got away!"

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have heard of these beautiful animals and birds SUFFERING so badly and die... HUNTERS CAN USE HARD PLASTIC PELITS!!! in the world of computers you can't tell us that a plastic bullet that still can kill an animal..More skill is done with BOW AND ARROW.. but many are bad shots and mame animals.and leave them... hunters that leave dead animals and take the meat..should be aware of the wilderness that feeds on the left-overs not knowing that in a short time a very SLOW death follows... think first we are to be protectors of the animals God said that.... keep them alive to thrive.. not like we did to the INDIANS who knew how the life circle is......

  5. Anonymous says:

    Takes no effort to get lead poisoning; animals and birds of that size over humans don't need much to become effected; if you know so much and know how to do blood tests prove otherwise, yeah you can blame that one thing when it's the main culprit in a simple blood test

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