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You’ve heard of fire departments rescuing cats from trees and ducks from drains. However, you’ve probably never seen animal control specialists rescue the literal symbol of freedom from a cage made of a car grille. Well, that was the case when a Maryland animal control unit rushed to extricate a bald eagle from a Toyota Highlander’s grille.

Calvert County Animal Control rescued a trapped bald eagle from a grille and released it back into the wild

A bald eagle got stuck in a Toyota Highlander’s grille on Tuesday. The SUV’s driver called Calvert County, Maryland, Animal Control officers to report that they had collided with the majestic animal on Route 4. Fortunately, the eagle survived the impact. 

Unfortunately, the bird of prey became stuck in the Toyota’s grille. It’s certainly not the sort of hood ornament or visual modification you want. However, animal control officers were quick to come to the eagle’s aid. Shortly after arriving on the scene, local animal control and sheriff’s department officers rescued the literal symbol of freedom from the SUV’s fascia.

An animal control officer holds a rescued bald eagle.
An animal control officer holds a rescued bald eagle | Calvert County Government Facebook

Better yet, authorities examined the eagle and concluded it was in good health. According to WTOP News, the bald eagle reentered the wild shortly after passing its examination. Given that the incident was entirely accidental and the driver quickly notified authorities, it’s unlikely that the driver will receive any criminal charges. However, bald eagles are covered by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The law protects the birds from harm under penalty of criminal charges.

Still, even with the protections in place, vehicles kill eagles every year. As wild as it sounds, bald eagles develop cases of lead poisoning from felled deer during hunting season. The raptors feast on the guts hunters leave behind. Consequently, the eagles fly as if inebriated and get hit by passing vehicles.