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The Southeastern Raptor Center, or SRC, in conjunction with Georgia Wildlife Rescue Association, released a juvenile bald eagle Saturday, Aug. 15, in Tift County, Ga.

The bald eagle, believed to be two-to-three years old, was brought to the Southeastern Raptor Center June 5 because it was “emaciated and weak,” said Dr. Seth Oster, an assistant clinical professor and avian veterinary expert at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and primary veterinary for the SRC.

SRC treated the eagle and provided supportive health care. Because it was not injured and can survive back in the wild, the goal was to release it. Since the young eagle had not established territory or chosen a mate, authorities decided to release the eagle in a location optimal for its survival – Paradise Public Fishing Area in Enigma, Ga.

“Paradise is literally ‘paradise’ for a young eagle,” said Chet Powell, executive director of the Georgia Wildlife Rescue Association. “It includes more than 70 lakes and ponds on protected property so there is abundant food, water and habitat, and it is well within the flying range of where it was recovered.

“This was one of the most amazing rescues that we've done, not just because it's a bald eagle, but because it was as close to death as it could have been when it was found,” Powell said. “To be able to release it in two months’ time is truly remarkable and is a testament to the collaborative effort to save it.”