An injured bald eagle who was rescued by a Fairfax County Police officer has been euthanized, authorities announced Thursday.
Authorities had treated the eagle after its rescue, and initially said that it would continue treatment at a rehabilitation center. However, they later determined that the extend of injuries was too great.
Fairfax County Animal Control had found the eagle unable to fly at Huntley Meadows Park earlier this week, according to police.
Officer Kathy Prucnal pursued the eagle around the marshland park, and ultimately secured it in a blanket after capturing it with the help of a park visitor.
Park visitor Mike Powell snapped photos of the rescue. In a blog entry, he detailed the eagle's attempts to keep away: "When the officer began to chase it, the eagle hopped away and then tried to swim away, stopping for a moment to look in my direction from behind a tree. Eventually, when an unidentified parkgoer helped to block a potential exit route for the eagle, the officer was able to capture the eagle," Powell wrote.
A veterinarian confirmed that the eagle was suffering from a broken wing as well as a possible case of pesticide poisoning. The eagle was treated for both of these diagnoses. Authorities had planned for the eagle to continue treatment at a rehabilitation center in southern Virginia.
But authorities posted an update Thursday saying, "The extent of the injuries to the bird, including ocular lesions in both eyes, indicated that he would not have been a good candidate for either permanent captivity or release back into the wild, according to wildlife experts. He was humanely euthanized."