American bald eagle in hit-and-run euthanized

Vet techs: Bird euthanized due to injuries

MAITLAND, Fla. - An American bald eagle that was the victim of a hit and run on Interstate died overnight, officials say.

Only Local 6 was there as the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey rescued the bald eagle Tuesday night.

Ab Chatham said he saw the whole thing happen in an instant.

"I see this bird sweeping down about five cars behind me and I see a minivan hit it," said Chatham.

That's when he pulled over to the side of the road.

"I stopped and got out of the car and went and had it look and it was definitely alive," said Chatham.

The Audubon Center in Maitland said they believe the bald eagle is a male and at least 5 years old. According to the center, the bird mostly likely had a broken wing and leg.

Officer Maxwell Edson from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called to assist with the rescue. He said it's important to remember that birds of prey, even injured ones, can be dangerous and no one should try to catch a bird on their own.

Officials said saving a wing wouldn't have helped the eagle since the other leg was full of fractures.

Even so, Chatham said he's glad he did something instead of nothing at all.

"I don't think any of us need a reason for doing what we feel is the right thing. It's ingrained. I don't think any of it's a big deal," said Chatham.

Next week, four rehabilitated surviving eagles will be donated to the Busch Gardens exhibit.

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