KEITHSBURG, Illinois -- An emaciated bald eagle was rehabilitated and released back into the wild, thanks to a family who found it in their yard.
But it's not the family who's taking credit for the discovery, they're passing credit along to their dog, Izzy.
It was May of 2018 when Izzy alerted the family to the bald eagle sitting in the front yard in Seaton, Illinois.
The president of the Western Illinois Animal Rescue came to help capture the bird. Dan Porter described the bird as weak, saying that it had a parasite and was easily captured. He said they were able to throw a blanket over the bird and set it in a cage.
From there the Wildlife Medical Clinic at the University of Illinois took the eagle, and determined that the bird was a juvenile, and was starving.
"Hunting is hard for young birds of prey, so this is actually a common thing that happens," said Jacques Nuzzo from the Illinois Raptor Center. The eagle wound up at the Illinois Raptor Center where they rehabilitated it, feeding it, socializing it with other eagles, and allowing it to rebuild strength until it was time to release the bird.
On Tuesday, October 16, the bird was set free. A group of rescuers and family gathered at the Mississippi River in Keithsburg for the release.
The Wildlife Medical Clinic, the Western Illinois Animal Rescue, and the Illinois Raptor Center are all nonprofit organizations that rely on fundraising and donations. To raise funds, the WIAR is planning a 5k run, click here for details.