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Raptor Center readies bald eagle to return to wild

ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Raptor Center in Rocky Point has been rehabilitating a bald eagle named Aang.

Found in a parking lot, sick from lead poisoning and unable to fly, this big bird has come a long way.

Dr. Joni Gnyp took two-year-old Aang under her wing to nurse the sick eagle back to health.

“He was really, really depressed,” Dr. Gnyp said. “He couldn’t hold his head up. He couldn’t stand up. He’s almost eight pounds, and literally he had absolutely no desire to fight us at all.”

Now, just two months later, this big bird is flying to new heights and ready to return to the wild.

“Being able to see this big bird swoop down and learn, condition it to where we can release it in the wild, and it can survive, it was an amazing,” Raptor Center PR Director Chelsea Donnelly said. “I mean beyond amazing feeling.”

He may not look like a bald eagle yet. Young birds lack the white head and tail, but he certainly acts like one.

Click here to learn more about the Cape Fear Raptor Center

This is just one of the several birds they are taking care of at the Raptor Center. With several owls to a turkey vulture, there is never a dull day for these animal lovers. But with all the birds, the Cape Fear Raptor Center needs more volunteers and a new building.

“Our goal is to get some land and build two separate buildings,” Dr. Gnyp said. “One, an education building for the public to come visit the birds, learn education, learn conservation. And then another building that will be a medical center.”

Aang will be released July 6 at 10 a.m. at the Northshore Golf Course in Sneads Ferry.


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