Golden Eagle survives wild run-in with semi, RV
A golden eagle is expected to recover after having a tough day in San Juan County on August 2.
A truck driver reports that he was traveling northbound at highway speeds near the Monticello airport when the eagle flew alongside the truck and then swooped into his front windshield.
The windshield collapsed and the eagle was funneled into the cab and onto the driver’s lap. The large two-year old bird survived the collision and gouged the hand of the driver with his beak as the driver stopped as quickly as possible in the roadway and left the cab.
Sheriff Rick Eldredge responded to an emergency call and found the truck blocking traffic on Highway 191.
Eldredge was directing traffic while David Ketron, of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, was left to take care of the bird.
The eagle was stuck head-down in the passenger seat of the semi, with an injured wing that was stuck in a cup holder in the truck.
Ketron tried to cover the bird with a blanket, but it escaped from the cupholder and jumped into the sleeper cab of the truck.
Ketron climbed into the sleeper cab and once again attempted to cover the eagle with the blanket.
This time, the bird climbed over Ketron’s back and jumped out the driver side window, where it was promptly smacked by a passing motorhome traveling about 30 miles per hour.
The bird fell under the motorhome and a wing was run over by the vehicle.
The bird continued to struggle but was eventually captured, put into a small cage and transferred to the Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation center in Price.
Miraculously, reports from Price state that the bird is ok. It suffered a concussion and some wing damage, but chances are high that the bird will have a full recovery.
The driver of the truck, from South Dakota, was lightly injured by the bird.
Sheriff Eldredge, who is retiring as Sheriff at the end of the year, says that he can retire in peace. “I have seen everything now,” said the Sheriff.