I thaw an eagle... and so did an Oklahoma game warden. Grounded by an ice storm, a chilled-out bald eagle needed to warm up inside the warden's truck before flying off into the wild blue yonder.
Ice storms can wreak destruction on roads and property but they can also exact a terrible toll on wildlife. Take this bald eagle, spotted by ranchers in a field on the Osage/Kay county line in northern Oklahoma. Give the ranchers credit: they promptly alerted the Department of Wildlife Conservation, who sent Game Warden Spencer Grace to the area.
Though the eagle could fly short distances on its ice-clogged wings, its compromised state left it vulnerable to predators. Grace was eventually able to corral the frosty critter into an animal carrier which he then left on his truck's heated passenger seat. After about 45 minutes, the ice had melted and the eagle was eager to be on its way.
All's well that ends well: after Grace placed the animal carrier on the ground outside and carefully opened the door (eagle beaks are sharp!), the still-proud raptor quickly exited his temporary warming station and made a bee-line – as the crow flies – to a scraggly tree bordering the pasture. According to the local ranchers, this eagle often used the tree's upper branches as a resting place and lookout.
Game Warden Grace (above) recorded the highlights of his rescue expedition on a GoPro camera and later uploaded the roughly 2-minute long video to the Oklahoma Game Wardens page at Facebook. All in a day's work for the Department of Wildlife Conservation and their hard-working Game Wardens!