You know there’s still good in this world when you hear the story of how a Polish nature photographer named Krzysztof Chomicz trekked his way through a plain of thick mud to rescue a white-tailed eagle that got itself stuck.
Image Credit: The Telegraph
Tethered to a lifeline that was provided by local firefighters, the man dragged himself through the thick mud to recover the bird. Because the bird was so caked in the thick mud, it was unable to get itself out, much less fly away.
Making matters worse, the mud was thick and sticky, and it was essentially like being stuck in brown Jello. Getting in between the bird's feathers, there was almost no chance it would have been able to un-stick itself and fly away, so it needed the assistance.
Soon after the man got to the animal, he carefully extracted the bird from the thick slop and made his way back with the help of the firefighters who were close by. The bird was given the nickname Icarus, and was transported to a refuge facility for care where it was fed and cleaned.
This is Chomicz’ second attempt at rescuing a white-tailed eagle; the original was rescued back in 2015 from a separate debacle.
White-tailed eagles are Northern Europe’s largest bird of prey. This particular specimen was aged at about six months old, which means it’s possible that this flight was not only the bird’s last before getting stuck, but it may have even been its first.
Another theory is the bird thought it saw something to eat beneath it, and as it swooped down to grab it, it got entangled in the thick mud and was trapped there since.
They’re not endangered; there are an estimated 25,000 white-tailed eagles in the region. Their numbers certainly aren’t hurting, but there are some ideas buzzing around that their numbers could be hurting other local species that white tailed eagles typically catch as prey.
Nevertheless, Chomicz’ big heart saved this animal from a certain death from being trapped in mud that it couldn’t get itself out of.
Source: The Telegraph via National Geographic