November 25, 1999
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
The first two Alaskan bald eagles recently returned to the north country, flying in the belly of a jet airplane from the Missoula airport on Tuesday, November 16. They were released neat Sitka, Alaska the next morning. These two eagles, both adult females, were injured in separate vehicle collisions in Alaska during June and August of this year. Named "Courage" and "Gorgeous," these two were part of a group of nine sent to Grounded Eagle Foundation in Condon during this past September. Injured bald eagles were transferred to the Condon complex when the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka suffered severe storm damage, collapsing most of the facility. The eagles undergo rehabilitation in Condon, then are returned two at a time to Alaska for release back to the wild. Three more are currently preparing for a jet-assisted trip north, with the rest of the group expected to return north over the coming winter as they continue to recover and rehaiblitate from their injuries, some of which were extensive.
The air freight charges for returning these two eagles to Sitka was $654.83, and was donated by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines.