Fisherman rescues bald eagle floating off the coast of British Columbia
CTV News.ca Staff
Published Monday, September 22, 2014 8:02PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 22, 2014 10:00PM EDT
A British Columbia fisherman made the most unusual catch of his lifetime -- a bald eagle.
Recreational fisherman Don Dunbar was fishing off the coast of Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island on Sept. 7, when he spotted a bald eagle in distress swimming toward his boat.
Dunbar dropped his fishing lines and picked up his net to scoop the bird out of the water.
It's unknown how long the eagle was floating. When Dunbar picked it up onto his boat, the eagle was exhausted and its wings were drenched.
Dunbar grabbed his iPhone, filmed the entire rescue and posted in on YouTube.
"Are you a little tired? Who's going to believe this? Did you get onto a fish that was too big for ya or what?" Dunbar is heard saying in the video as he brought the eagle onto his boat.
"Welcome aboard buddy. Let's get you in the sun, so you can warm up and dry out a bit ... then you can fly away if you choose," Dunbar said.
After a few minutes, the eagle did try to fly away, but its wings were soaked and it was too weak to take off.
Dunbar then raced back to shore, where the eagle was picked up by Wildlife Rescue.
Wildlife Rescue determined that the eagle was malnourished and was suffering from an infection. The bald eagle's diet comprises mostly of fish.
The eagle was transported to O.W.L., a refuge in Delta, B.C., where it is being taught to hunt and swim.
Eventually, the eagle will be released back into the wild, close to where it was found.
The average lifespan of a bald eagle is 25 to 40 years. In 1992, the population of bald eagles in British Columbia reached approximately 30,000.