CLEARWATER, Fla. -- An American bald eagle struck by a car near Westfield Countryside Mall was released back into the wild today.
The eagle took flight again at Lake Chautauqua Park this morning near the original site where it was found.
The bird suffered a damaged right wing back on October 5 when it was hit on Countryside Boulevard while feeding on an animal carcass. Police and firefighters assisted in protecting the bird until Susan Miller of the Owl's Nest Sanctuary arrived to safely take the bird away.
Owl's Nest Sanctuary, Busch Gardens of Tampa Bay and Nature World Wildlife each played a part in getting the eagle back to flying shape.
The rehabilitation process began immediately after the rescue because the damaged wing required surgery. Dr. Peter Black fixed the wing and the eagle was soon flying at Busch Gardens. More test flights were performed at Nature World Wildlife under the assistance of director Mary Opal.
"Tuesday will be an exciting day as we release this majestic bird, the symbol of our nation, back to the wild," said Kris Porter of Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. "It would not have been possible without the collaboration and teamwork from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Nature World Wildlife and so many others."