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Candy and Steve Ridlbauer, Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education Center, attempt to net and cage a bald eagle Davey employees helped rescue to transport it to the Willowbrook Wildlife Center for medical attention.

From Saving Trees to Rescuing Animals, Part 2

September 3, 2014

Sometimes, our furry friends scamper into precarious situations—or suffer from poor environmental conditions—and require our attention.

Yesterday, we shared a few stories about Davey crews that have helped return pets to their homes or wild animals to safer habitats. Read below for more of our animal rescue stories!

A 120-foot Chase: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Mark Logtenberg, Davey’s Victoria, British Columbia, district manager, started his morning just like any other, until he received a phone call from a distressed homeowner in the area. The homeowner told Logtenberg that her cat had been stuck in a 140-foot Douglas fir for the last two days. Logtenberg, Climber Louis Burgess and Groundman Sonny Roland quickly arrived at the scene to assist.

Burgess climbed the tree while Roland secured a can of cat food in a rope bag below. As Burgess climbed closer to the cat, which was approximately 60 feet off of the ground at the time, it began to climb higher, until reaching close to 120 feet high. Once Roland pulled the rope bag of food to Burgess, the cat came over and was lowered into the homeowner’s arms.

Climber Louis Burgess climbs a tree to rescue a cat that had been stuck for two days.

“Everyone gets really excited when we can do something for the community,” Logtenberg says.

Eagle Rescue All in a Day’s Work: Rockford, Illinois 

Rescuing an endearing symbol of American freedom isn’t your typical Davey job, but that’s exactly what Davey Utility Foresters Joe Riddle and Paul Boyd did when they helped save an injured bald eagle in the Illinois wild.

Riddle and Boyd were conducting their annual power line inspection for ComEd near Rockford, Illinois, in March when Boyd saw a massive bird clad all in brown feathers and hobbling about on the ground.

“What really caught me off guard was I’ve never seen a raptor of this size on the ground,” Boyd says. “You never see that.”

Boyd grew closer as he measured trees near the lines. Scared, the bird reacted by scampering away and into a nearby creek, which is part of the wetlands surrounding the power lines. “It was real hard to watch because I thought the thing was going to (drown),” he says. “So I got into the creek and chased it up onto dry land.”

Unsatisfied, Boyd walked to his truck to continue the line inspection. He knew Riddle would be coming upon the bird soon, so he called and asked for his colleague’s opinion of its state. Using his smartphone, Riddle searched images of raptors and learned the nearly all brown bird was in fact a juvenile eagle.

“We’ve seen many perfectly healthy and flying around, but this is the first one we’ve ever found injured,” Riddle says. “It kept trying to fly away, and it couldn’t close its left wing.”

Determined to save the injured bird, Riddle and Boyd relied on instruction they’d received in January from ComEd, which conducted training—complete with a live bald eagle—for employees on how to address finding a large raptor. The training, which includes education on migratory birds, bird nesting, raptors and reporting of deceased birds, provided workers with phone numbers for the Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education Center. Boyd and Riddle called the Illinois wildlife rehabilitation center immediately.

Stay tuned for more stories from Davey employees on our blog!

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