A bald eagle found injured near Hammond was nursed back to health and released last week near where it had been discovered.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was contacted about the bird after it was found by two local children on Jan. 17.
The bald eagle has made an impressive comeback nationally and in Louisiana since the early 1970s when pesticides, specifically DDT, decimated the population. In the early 1970s, there were only five to seven active bald eagle nests in Louisiana. An LDWF survey in 2017-18 revealed there are well over 350 active nests in the state.
LDWF enforcement agent took the injured bird to Leslie Lattimore, who runs the Wings of Hope Wildlife Sanctuary in Livingston. Lattimore, who has successfully rehabbed countless birds and other wildlife at the sanctuary, was able to bring the animal back to health. She said the eagle had likely been injured several weeks prior to her discovery, leading to her being emaciated.
After leaving the cage, the eagle bounded about before taking off. It circled the area, landed in a field about 200 yards away, then flew and roosted in a tree.
Though no longer endangered, bald eagles remain protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, a federal statue used to make sure those species continue to thrive. For more information on Wings of Hope Wildlife Sanctuary, go to http://wingsofhoperehab.org/. And to report injured bald or golden eagles, contact your local LDWF office or call 1-800-442-2511.