By Mike DeNardo
WINSLOW, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey wildlife officials today released a bald eagle who was nursed back to health after being injured in a territorial fight.
As photographers clicked away, the six-year-old eagle was set free at the Winslow Wildlife Management Area, after a weeklong stay at the Tri-State Bird Rescue, in Delaware.
The eagle had suffered cuts and bruises in a territorial fight last Wednesday in West Cape May.
Kathy Clark, a biologist with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, says scientists released him 60 miles from where they found him, because they didn’t want to see him get right back into a fight.
“He’s plenty familiar with how to get around, and he’ll probably figure out quickly where he is and whether or not he wants to go back to that place where he got a whuppin’,” Clark told KYW Newsradio today.
She says environmental programs, including banning the pesticide DDT, have helped New Jersey’s bald eagle population — down to one nest in the 1970s — rebound to about 150 today.
State officials took the occasion to remind New Jersey taxpayers of the income tax checkoff designating funds for the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species program.