Correction: Kim Miles' name has been corrected in this story.
By Echo Menges and Marlana Smith
Shelby County, MO - October 19, 2017 - When Kim Miles was traveling home from dropping off a child at school Thursday morning, she didn’t expect to help save an American Bald Eagle, but that’s exactly what she found herself doing.
“I thought it was a turkey, and then a white head popped up, and then I realized it was an eagle,” said Miles.
The eagle was floundering on Highway 15 approximately one-and-a-half miles south of Bethel, after being hit by a vehicle.
Instead of continuing on her way home, Miles stopped her minivan in the roadway and slowed traffic going by.
“I didn’t want anyone else to hit it,” said Miles.
One of the people she slowed down was Nemonews Media Group Publisher Mike Scott. Scott called his newspaper office in Edina, The Edina Sentinel, and asked for help getting help for the distressed bird.
“Can you call over to the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, find the Conservation Agent and let the Sheriff’s Office know? Maybe they can help,” said Scott.
Dr. Andrew Kaiser at the Katherine Road Animal Hospital and Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, IL, answered the call, and immediately agreed to come to Shelby County and assist. Calls were also made to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri Department of Conservation from the Sentinel and from Miles - who remained with the bird for over an hour to protect it from passing vehicles.
Reporters from Edina and the Shelby County Herald in Shelbyville arrived to find the eagle moved itself off the highway and was lying in the ditch on the east side of the roadway with wings partially extended, not moving much – but alive. Other bystanders arrived and stood by another hour or so until the professional, Dr. Kaiser, arrived.
Dr. Kaiser quickly took the bird into his arms and held it like a baby, assessed it and told everyone standing by he had a badly broken leg and talked to the bystanders about the eagle before taking it back with him to Quincy, IL.
Dr. Kaiser offered to keep us posted about the eagle’s condition – and we will keep you posted by updating this post and publishing stories in our newspapers.
“It has two broken legs and a broken wing. The eagle will be sent to University of Missouri in Columbia tomorrow. It is a male. They’ll probably operate. They’ll assess him themselves and let us know what they are going to do - and we will let you know,” said Laura Unglesbee, a Veterinary Technician at the center, on Thursday afternoon.
According to a representative of the Missouri Department of Conservation, if someone locates an injured bird of prey, they should contact their local law enforcement agency or their local Missouri Department of Conservation office immediately.
Special licenses and permits are required to care for wild animals. The Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy has the proper permits to care for wild animals, which include birds of prey.
“Under State and Federal Law, no one may possess birds of prey or any parts of birds of prey,” said Benny Pryor, Protection Regional Supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Anyone with information of anyone taking, killing or possessing a bird of prey is asked to report it to the Missouri Operation Game Thief Hotline at (800)392-1111.
Special thanks to everyone who helped, the Shelby County Sheriff and Dr. Drew Kaiser and his staff.
Media: Please Attribute to Nemonews.net, the Shelby County Herald or The Edina Sentinel