A Duluth-area bald eagle released from rehabilitation last month after crash landing at the airport was found dead along the St. Louis River.
The Duluth News Tribune reports a conservation officer for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa found the eagle carcass ensnared in fishing line just south of the U.S. Highway 2 bridge Monday evening. The mature male eagle appeared to have been dead for two or three days.
After reporting the eagle's band number, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed that the deceased bird was one of two eagles that locked talons in mid-air before hitting the tarmac at the Duluth airport on May 12. The eagle had suffered puncture wounds and was treated for a month at the Raptor Center in St. Paul before being released back into the wild.
The bird returned home to Duluth before getting caught in fishing line, unable to free itself.
“I’ve seen this before with other birds — herons and others," wildlife biologist Mike Schrage told the newspaper. "Fishermen, be careful and pick up your fishing line. It can last a long time, and it can be a killer.”