West Newbury Police, West Newbury Dispatcher Bob Pierce, and Animal Control Officer Kayla Provencher teamed up Sunday to rescue an injured bald eagle.
“We respond to a wide variety of emergencies in West Newbury, and I am proud of the teamwork that was on display during this complex call,” said Police Chief Michael Dwyer.
Dwyer said Sgt. Rich Parenteau and Officer Matt Dixon were dispatched just after 2 p.m., after receiving a report of an injured bald eagle on the banks of the Merrimack River on River Road. They found the eagle in a brush-covered area near the river bank and requested help from Animal Control Officer Kayla Provencher.
Pierce, who received previous experience with injured eagles several years ago when two juvenile eagles nesting near his yard had to be rescued after leaving their nest too early, also went to the scene to help Provencher.
Provencher said, because eagles are excellent swimmers and very fast on their feet, Pierce had to ensure the eagle would not become scared and flee into the river. He entered the river to guard against that possibility while Provencher was able to capture the bird using a long net and some blankets and towels. They all wore thick gloves and took precautions to protect themselves from the eagle’s potentially dangerous talons and beak.
“At one point he grabbed my gloves with his talons and I could feel the pressure,” Provencher said. “I could not just pull my hand away so I had to wait for him to release.”
They took the bald eagle in a large animal crate to a local wildlife rehabilitation center, which later transferred the eagle to the Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Medical Center in Grafton for treatment.