SALEM, N.H. (AP)— Police say the trap that caught a bald eagle in Salem, N.H., complied with state law and the bird was not the intended target.
Police got a call Thursday from James Ransom of Methuen, Mass., who was out scouting possible hunting areas when he saw the distressed eagle.
The eagle's right leg was caught in a metal snap-type trap, which was set up next to the recently skinned remains of a beaver. Police said it appears the eagle was attempting to feed on the beaver and got caught in the trap.
Officer John O'Donnell covered the eagle with a blanket while Ransom worked to untangle the bird's wing from around a small tree and to release the jaws of the trap.
They determined there was just a minor cut on one of the eagle's talons, where the trap had snapped shut.
Sgt. Mike Wagner attempted to pick him up with the blanket, but the eagle was fine and flew right out of his hands. The group watched as the eagle flew several hundred yards away and landed on top of a large pine tree.
Wagner said as they worked to free the eagle, the officers were able to find an identification band on the leg of the eagle, which contained a serial number. They called in the information to federal authorities and filed a report.
Police are calling the case a rare and unfortunate incident that had a happy ending.
© 2016 Cox Media Group.