PENSACOLA, Florida(WKRG) – An American Bald Eagle began the road to recovery after a man saw her injured and sprang into action.
That man, who wildlife specialist are calling a hero, spoke exclusively to News 5 about what it was like to save a bald eagle. He said the situation was so surreal that he didn’t even realize how serious it was until he got home.
“When I walked up on that bird, that eagle… It sent a shock through my body,” Rotario Rivers said.
He found himself at a crossroads this past weekend — keep driving his car, with his children and wife inside, or stop and help what looked like a bird hit by a car?
“Birds get hit, dogs get hit, animals get hit all the time in the road,” Rivers said. “But she was still flapping her wings, you know?”
Luckily, Rivers was there to help. Also lucky, another driver stopped and was able to transport not just any bird, but an American Bald Eagle. Lucky, the Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida was open and ready to help even on a weekend.
“It is by the grace of the folks who rescued it that we have it here today,” Dorothy Kaufmann, firector of the sanctuary, said. “’Cause it would not have survived even three hours on the side of the road like that.”
Monday afternoon, the female eagle is still recovering. Kaufmann and volunteers are doing everything they can to help.
“No, I don’t know absolutely what the prognosis is going to be for the next three days,” said Kaufmann. “But all I can say is were moving forward and it was the perfect scenario of what they did.”
So, it seems it’s only fitting this American symbol of patriotism, hours from death until she crossed paths with Rivers, be given the name ‘Lucky.’
“Yeah, I do feel connected now to Lucky,” Rivers said. Hopefully, in a few days, me and my family can go down there and see how she’s doing.”
The video of the rescue has gone viral, with nearly 200,000 views just from the News 5 Facebook page. Continue to check the website and Facebook page for the latest updates on Lucky.