Sick Bald Eagle Rescued In Smithfield; Prognosis Unclear

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — One of a small number of bald eagles in Rhode Island was found sick Saturday and was rescued by officials who say the young male's eyes are infected.

Trained staffers from the state's Department of Emergency Management responded to the shore of Stump Pond in Smithfield in response to a call to a hotline, the Providence Journal reported. They captured the bird.

The eagle has a lesion on one eye and a problem with the other, Kristin Fletcher, executive director of the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island, told the newspaper.

“His weight is not bad, so whatever sickened him came on relatively quickly,” she said.

The bird is being treated and fed through a tube, but Fletcher said it's not yet clear if recovery and a return to the wild is possible.

Once endangered, bald eagles in the United States have largely recovered, though John Herbert, a biologist for the DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, said there are only a handful of breeding pairs in Rhode Island.