An Indiana man was charged this week with the unlawful possession of a bald eagle, which the man says he cared for and rescued from the mud pit in which it was trapped. The former Department of Natural Resources employee, Jeffrey Henry, could face up to 60 days of jail time and a $500 fine as part of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Yahoo reports:
As reported by WISH News 8, Henry had the bird in his home for 11 hours after several weeks of caring for the sick animal in the wild. The outdoorsman told the station that he noticed the bird a few weeks ago when he was hunting for mushrooms in Putnam County. The eagle was unable to fly, stuck in mud, and hungry, so he fed it fish eventually two times a day. When campers on four-wheelers arrived in the area, Henry suspected the grounded eagle would be in danger.
He said, "I took him a fish out there and as we was leaving, the bird starting following me, and continued to follow me, there's no way to actually chase him off because he'd turn around and run right back to me. So I put the bird up on my arm and we got in the truck and took him to the house.” Having previously worked for the DNR, Henry knew he was breaking the law saying, "I'm probably going to be in a little bit of trouble, which I understand.” Though Henry believes he made the right choice adding, “I chose to take the punishment over the welfare of the bird.”
Henry said he planned to take the bird, which he named Freedom, to the Indianapolis Zoo.