A pair of bald eagles -- their talons locked together in battle -- were rescued from a frigid river on Vancouver Island recently after passersby happened to notice the struggling raptors.

The two eagles were found shivering in the Campbell River, near where the river flows into the Pacific Ocean, when Brenda Hancock walked by and spotted them in obvious distress.

"I had a stick with me but there wasn't anything I could do because they were too far out," Hancock told CTV British Columbia.

Instead, she quickly sought help from Ed and Jo Ivanisko, whose home is situated on the banks of the river, and the couple sprang into action. Ed donned his chest waders and gloves, while Jo called Mountainaire Avian Rescue, located in Comox, B.C., about 45 minutes away.

But after seeing the birds' condition, Ed knew the eagles wouldn't survive if he didn't act immediately. So he waded into the frigid water himself and began working to untangle the birds' talons.

“They were very cold, they were shivering. You could see that one bird was way colder than the other although they were both in distress,” Jo said.

Ed managed to free the hypothermic birds, who were too exhausted to fly away. One of the eagles could barely move and was easily captured by the Ivaniscos, while the other managed to make it into the middle of the river before collapsing in the water.

Meanwhile, another eagle began dive-bombing the hypothermic bird as it struggled toward shore.

This time, Ed climbed into a canoe and paddled into the river, where he was eventually able to retrieve the eagle.

The birds were then taken to the Mountainaire Avian Rescue centre, where they were nursed, fed and allowed to rest and recover from their chilly ordeal.

"We arrived at just the right time to save those birds," Jo said.

The very next day the eagles were released back into the wild, something Jo described as "awesome."

Responses to "Good Samaritans rescue hypothermic bald eagles from B.C. river (Photos)"

  1. Unknown says:

    Well done guys glad you were there to help :-)

  2. so very awesome of you to help them. You are an angel! I just hope that in the same circumstances that others would be as bold and brave as you were. :)

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Anonymous says:

    Awesome work guys!

  5. pavloveia says:

    Thank you for rescuing these magnificent birds. How brave and kind of you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What an awesome story....thanks to all that managed to save these beautiful frightened birds. You are blessed.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Unknown says:

    Blessings to you for taking action and saving these majestic creatures!

  9. Way to go to all the people who rescued these amazing birds. I've had the privilege of a Bald Eagle fly over my deck while I was standing on it. It gave me goosebumps, they are so huge, yet fly so gracefully.

  10. Unknown says:

    saludos a todos los que participaron de este rescate , eso es digno de admirar.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Its stories like this that renew my faith in mankind..............

  12. Micke Skribent says:

    Awesome, thank you !

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wish we could clone people like this! We need lots more of them in this world!!!

  14. susan grant says:

    It is nice that there are people out there that care...Thank you so much and job well done

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great job.Need more people like this.

  16. Anonymous says:

    WONDERFUL & Amazing story. You people are true heroes & so brave! Thank God you took action & saved these magnificent birds. May God bless you for your awesome efforts! Well done!! You should feel very proud as others are so proud of you. Heartfelt thanks & appreciation to you!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Such incredible bravery and compassion!

  18. What a blessing to all!

  19. What a blessing to all!

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