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'This Bird Is Going To Be OK': Bald Eagle Injured In Fight Released Back Into Wild

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A territorial fight between two bald eagles over the St. Croix River in July ended with one of the birds badly injured.

Days as perfect as Thursday are meant for field trips. And for Malone School third graders, there's would be as rare as the weather. On the bluffs of the Carpenter Nature Center, kids soon greeted the main event: A beautiful adult bald eagle, nursed back from the brink.

READ MORE: 'Good Job, Buddy!': Video Of Bald Eagle Catching Huge Fish On St. Croix River Goes Viral

"So a real concern with these two is that one would have hung on and drown the other one, so they had to be separated in order for both of them to survive," said Raptor Center assistant Lori Arent.

On July 7, the female was locked in aerial battle with another adult eagle -- a territorial fight that ended when they plunged into the St. Croix. Andy and Ann Kirn came to the rescue.

"And the closer we got in the boat, the more we realized that's two eagles that are fighting in the water," Andy said.

Bald Eagle Released
(credit: CBS)

"We were protecting them from wake of other boats and current, and just wringing our hands hoping everything would be OK," Ann said.

With the help of deputies and neighbors, they separated the combatants. One flew off, while the other was rushed to the Raptor Center on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus.

Thursday, Andy was rewarded with a release -- bravely gripping the huge eagle and setting her free. Off she, went back into the river valley

"Wow, it's come full circle," Andy said. "This bird is going to be OK."

A whole lot stronger, and just maybe, a little wiser.

The Raptor Center holds its annual fall release at the Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings next Saturday. It's open to the public and will feature a number of birds. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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