JACKSON COUNTY -- A joint effort among several agencies has given an injured bald eagle a chance at survival.
According to authorities in the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, their office responded to 7:30 a.m. call on Sunday morning. The caller reported an injured bald eagle on U.S. Highway 51 near the Big Muddy River just south of DeSoto.
Deputies responding located the bird and found it was unable to walk or fly.
Those officers contacted the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Officers from that department, assisted by the JCSD and the DeSoto Fire Department, were able to secure the injured bird and transport it to Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation near Carterville.
According to Jim Shofstall at Free Again, the bird is injured but holding its own.
"We moved it outside yesterday," he said on Tuesday afternoon.
Shofstall said the bird is at least 5 years old, since its head feathers are white.
"That takes at least five years," he said.
They're still not sure how the bird was injured, but it could possibly have been hit by a vehicle.
Free Again is a licensed wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation center. It a nonprofit organization that operates solely on volunteer efforts and donated funds.
The cost to rehab the bird will be substantial.
"I just spent $350 on mice, " Shofstall said.
Donations to help with the bald eagle and other animals being cared for by Free Again are welcome. To help, call (618) 988-1067.