Canadian fisherman Dan Dunbar was cruising in a boat near Nanoose Bay, British Columbia when he spotted a young bald eagle floundering on the surface of the water. Although bald eagle are known to be quite capable swimmers, this particular bird appeared unable to take flight again.
As Dunbar began to think of how he might try to help, the bird used his wings to inch closer to the vessel, speaking aloud to offer the animal a few encouraging words:
“Hey, buddy. What do you figure? Want to come aboard? I’d throw you a lifejacket, but I don’t got one that’ll fit you.”
Before Dunbar had the chance to grab his net, however, the bird drifted away again, so he powered up the engine to move closer.
O.W.L. veterinarian Dina Lee told The Dodo that the bald eagle, probably around three years old, does not appear to have any injuries to his wings that would prevent him from flying, calling the fact that he was found stranded at sea “odd.”
“When the fisherman fish him out onto the boat, there wasn’t any fishing line tangled around him, and when he came in, there wasn’t any clear break. But he wasn’t eating food very well, so we’re suspecting there might be something in him, so we’re taking x-rays to see,” says Lee. “We’ll do everything that we can.”
Watch the entire bald eagle rescue below: