Humane Society saves entangled eagles

Bald eagles found with talons latched into each other
Humane Society saves entangled eagles

When you visit the Coulee Region Humane Society, you can expect to see a few dogs and some cats – just your average adoption center, right?

But what you don’t see every day, is an entirely different function of the humane society – their dedication to the wildlife in our area.

We got a sneak peek behind the scenes to see just how much work goes into saving a wild animal. 

An average day at the Humane Society can be quiet for Kathy Kasakaitas.

“Typical day for me, come in and check emails, check paperwork,” she says.

But not that’s not the case today.

“I was not expecting to g et an eagle call today.”

Kasakaitas will spend her morning, and most of her afternoon, in an Onalaska backyard, helping out a feathered friend or two.

“When we arrived the two eagles were latched together with their talons, both on the ground fighitng, flopping around,” Kasakaitas says. “It’s amazing how strong they are.”

For anyone who’s tried to separate two birds with nothing but a screwdriver, it’s not an easy task – especially when that bird has a wingspan as long as you are tall.

Once both eagles were separated, both were transported back to the Humane Society, where Kasakaitas surveyed the damage done.

“Obviously there’s some puncture wounds from the talons,” she explains.

She’ll treat both birds, putting antibiotic cream on the open puncture wounds. The birds will likely spend the night at the shelter before being let back into the wild the next day.

This is a part of the Humane Society Kasakaitas says people rarely see.

“I don’t think anybody realizes how much effort goes into helping and saving the wildlife in the Coulee region area,” she says.

But it’s the part Kathy likes best – flying outside the everyday office routine to get a bird’s eye view of the area wildlife.

The Coulee Region Humane Society offers 24-hour wildlife service to help out animals in need, like Kathy did today. And they do it on a budget – according to the society, the wildlife program receives only about $10,000 a year from the city, hardly enough to cover their expenses. Often employees like Kathy will spend their own money to help out.

One of the eagles was treated and released on Wednesday morning.