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Injured bald eagle on side of highway rescued by Good Samaritan

Dr. Andrew Kaiser cradles an injured bald eagle along Highway 15 near Bethel, Mo., Thursday (Echo Menges/Edina Sentinel)

An injured bald eagle is recovering after a Good Samaritan found him on a northeast Missouri highway Thursday.

“I thought it was a turkey, and then a white head popped up,” Kim Miles told the Edina Sentinel and Shelby County Herald. “And then I realized it was an eagle.”

Miles told the newspapers she was headed home from dropping a child off at school Thursday morning when she spotted the bird, floundering on the edge of Highway 15 just south of Bethel, Mo.

And instead of continuing home, Miles stopped her minivan and slowed traffic going by.

“I didn’t want anyone else to hit it,” Miles said.

Nemonews Media Group Publisher Mike Scott happened to be driving by, and contacted the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, Ill., along with the sheriff and the Conservation Department. Nemonews Media Group publishes several papers in northeast Missouri including The Edina Sentinel and Shelby County Herald.

Miles said the bird appeared to have been struck by a vehicle, and Dr. Andrew Kaiser, from the Raptor Rehabilitation Center and Katherine Road Animal Hospital, diagnosed the bird of prey with a badly broken leg.

“It has two broken legs and a broken wing,” Laura Unglesbee, a veterinary technician at the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, told reporters Thursday. “The eagle will be sent to the University of Missouri in Columbia [Friday]. They’ll probably operate.”

The Missouri Department of Conservation says that no one without special training and permits should handle an injured bird of prey if they find one. Like Miles, anyone who finds one should contact the Conservation Department and local authorities immediately.

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