Joseph Pauloski was sitting in his excavator at the Kitimat landfill when he caught sight of something falling into the quarry.
When he went in for a closer look he found an eagle on the ground, its wings extended.
He thought that could mean only a couple of things; it was protecting some food from other birds, or something was wrong.
He gave the eagle five minutes before moving in.
“He flew away once but he couldn’t really get off the ground,” said Pauloski. “I went up to him with my jacket, took my jacket off and threw it around him…he didn’t even struggle.”
He walked the eagle back to the shed and they called the Kitimat Humane Society.
The local shelter manager made the drive to Prince Rupert to get the bird help at the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Since finding the eagle Wednesday, Nov. 14, and since the eagle was delivered to Prince Rupert the day after, it has been making great progress back to health.
“He must have ate something bad,” said Gunther Golinia, who runs Prince Rupert’s wildlife shelter with wife Nancy. “We treated him with charcoal and electrolytes. He’s really perking up.”
He added that nothing appeared to be broken on the eagle.
He said they receive eagles as far away as Burns Lake and they release them from Prince Rupert once they’re back to health. Eagles are great navigators and know how to travel.
He said they get birds coming in from the Prince Rupert landfill at times too, where they had eaten something back, such as cleaning chemicals mixed with the trash.
“It’s awful hard on the birds,” he said.
Their shelter has seen about 40 eagles throughout the year, with eight still in their shelter.
As for Pauloski, he said he wasn’t nervous at all approaching the eagle. The fact the eagle didn’t look nervous about him being there helped.
But Pauloski also has experience with bird rescue. When he was about 12-or-13-years-old on Masset he said he was walking to school and found a trumpeter swan flailing in the snow.
He did then what he did last week; wrapped it up in his jacket and took it too their animal shelter.
“That made front page news,” he said.