This eagle learned the hard way

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

HAINES (AP) -- A young bald eagle apparently picked a fight with the wrong prey late last month.

Park ranger Bill Zack was sent out to check on the immature bird after callers reported the raptor couldn't fly and seemed to recoil at the approach of a squirrel.

The eagle was taken to the Juneau Raptor Center, where workers found three porcupine quills lodged in its beak, preventing it from eating or swallowing.

The bird was dehydrated and emaciated. It either was starving or suffering from other quills piercing it internally, said Jaimie Sorg, an avian trainer.

The bird later died.

''It's common for the young eagles who haven't figured it out yet,'' Sorg told the Chilkat Valley News. ''Some figure it out, and some learn the hard way, and some learn the hard way and live.''

The eagle was the second from Haines to die recently.

Another apparently was struck by a car along the Haines Highway.

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