An injured bald eagle that was having trouble breathing, was lethargic and was unable to fly was rescued in southeast D.C. Saturday afternoon.
The Humane Rescue Alliance received a report that the bird was in trouble, the organization said on Facebook, and officers were able to capture the eagle, which was transported to City Wildlife for care.
A wildlife biologist with the District’s Department of Energy and Environment told the Washington Post the bird is likely Justice, the male of a pair that nests close to the police academy. The bird was found about 1.5 miles away from the nest after a strong thunderstorm on Saturday.
Kristy Jacobus, the clinic director at City Wildlife, told the Post the bird appeared to have no obvious signs of trauma but would be taken to a facility in Delaware for further examination. She said once the bird is deemed healthy, he would be returned to Washington.
Opened in 2013, City Wildlife specializes in wild animal rehabilitation. They are no stranger to big birds: On Thursday, it took in a red-shouldered hawk fledgling to get checked out before being released to a raptor center.
Bald eagles were once endangered, but they are no longer on the federal list of threatened and endangered species, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
They've been making a comeback in Washington as well; at least two nests are closely watched by eagle fans. One is on the grounds of a D.C. Police facility in Southwest Washington and another is at the National Arboretum in Northeast.