SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says that environmental conservation officers performed two wildlife rescues in the Schoharie County area last week.
In the first, on June 13, officers received a report of an injured bald eagle on the westbound side of Interstate 90 near Canajoharie. Workers removing debris from the road saw the eagle trying and failing to take flight.
The swampy area off the highway is choked with thick, tall grasses, and authorities think the eagle got stuck here after being hit by a car. Environmental conservation officer Melissa Burgess headed to the scene waded through 8-foot-tall phragmites—reedy, plumed grass—with a net to catch the bird.
Although Canajoharie is in Montgomery County, the DEC says the eagle rescue took place in nearby Schoharie County.
In the second rescue, on June 14, a Mine Kill State Park official found an injured fawn at the base of a waterfall overlook. The official, worried that people might get hurt trying to reach the baby deer to save it, contacted the DEC for help.
Burgess and forest ranger Jacob Skudlarek headed to the scene and carefully made their way to the bottom of the falls to the fawn. Burges captured the deer and secured in a case to keep it safe as Skudlarek fashioned a rope system to lift it out of the precarious spot. The DEC owed the successful operation to Burgess’s wildlife knowledge and Skudlarek’s rope and rescue training.
Ultimately, both the bald eagle and the fawn went to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center for treatment for their injuries. The eagle also tested positive for lead exposure.
Just a little further back on June 3 in nearby Greene County, two environmental conservation officers intervened on behalf of another deer. They waited outside a home for several hours after receiving word that a resident was illegally keeping a whitetail fawn.
The resident, who’d reportedly been avoiding police, was apprehended and interviewed. He admitted to bringing the fawn in four days prior and feeding it a combination of sugar water and goat milk. The man was ticketed for possessing protected wildlife without a permit, and the malnourished fawn was handed over to a local, licensed wildlife rehabilitator.