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Injured Eagle In Clarenville Newfoundland | Fundraiser Cancelled

Update Posted on The GoFundMe page:

UPDATE 2016-02-05
It's very unfortunate this campaign was shut down. Those of us who felt the Eagle Bownet was needed and could have been donated were indeed correct afterall. The person stating the government wouldn't accept the trap was incorrect and the conversations I had with Salmonier nature park were confirmed. Also, As I said the netgun is NOT the correct tool to catch an eagle and this has been confirmed. So the self-proclaimed expert arsehole was also incorrect. Let's keep hope they can rescue her.

"Eagle Update in Clarenville
I'm on route to a meeting in Gander and took a quick stop to the cbs to see if the eagle was around. Wildlife officers are on site with a net gun and have spread moose bones around the site to try to attract the bird. A few other eagles have come by but they haven't seen the one with the trap. They also said they are having trouble getting close enough to try to catch it even with the gun, the Eagles fly off before they can get into range. But they are trying." -Greg Noel

And I guess the "expert" changed his mind about net guns being the correct tool, sadly he has yet to offer anything of value to help this bird.  

216-02-10 I also wanted to update the situation with the young lady who stated that Salmoiner Nature Park would not use the trap or accept help from the public. This young lady had a contact at the park and misunderstood the entire conversation I had previously with another member of the park. And therefore spread this misinformation across social networks.

When I spoke with the park they told me that staff at the park are not authorized to use the traps, conservation officers would have to do that. I asked could they accept the trap and make it available to conservation officers across the province when needed, she said yes, and that they share equipment all the time.

This is where the young lady misunderstood.  Yes, the park can not use the trap, but they COULD HAVE made it available to those who can.

Also this young lady made things confusing as she was stating that she "worked with wildlife". She's not employed by the department of wildlife but rather has a business working with animals.

UPDATE 2016-02-04
I honestly have no idea where to start in explaining the situation with the eagle and this campaign. My feelings are torn right now, first a foremost for the Eagle who has spent weeks in agony with this trap on it's toe. Humans caused this and we should fix it, but it appears that this bird and others will not likely get the help they need in this province.

I'm so very thankful to the number of people who donated and truly wishes to help this bird and others like her, in just a few hours we raised $880, I'm convinced we would have reached our goal in a day. You all are amazing!

However as soon as the campaign launched, personal harassment started and the sabotage of the campaign began. Quite a stressful few hours I endured but this was not the only reason for shutting down the fundraiser.

I was asked by a few donors for a refund after they read the sabotage messages, which I have no problem with doing even though the rules are clearly stated when a donation is made, "This person will receive your donation directly. All payments are final and cannot be refunded. Only give to people you know and trust."

That said, it was still not the reason for closing down the entire campaign.

It was brought to my attention that once the bird is caught, it will likely be euthanized as we don't have a facility to properly rehabilitate the bird. Honestly, I would have figured that they would capture the bird and at least remove the trap then free the bird. This would at least give her a fighting chance to recover.

And even though I was speaking with someone at Salmonier Nature Park on Tuesday who did say that they would benefit from this trap, I received a message from a lady stating that someone at the park told her they would not use the trap.

From everyone I've spoken with over the last few weeks, I believe a trap of this kind would be helpful, however if it is the case that there is nobody to help rehab this bird, then I figured it best to cancel the campaign.

At this point, I honestly have no idea who is telling the truth so I can't in good faith take your donations as I am unsure if it will actually benefit these birds at this time.

Thank you again for being so kind and generous.

For those of you who wanted to know more about what has happened since the 11th when the bird was first photographed, I'll post as much information as I can below.

More Information:

On January 11th local photographer Lynda Ryan posted photos to the Newfoundland Birdwatching FaceBook Group of an eagle with a trap stuck to it's middle toe on it's left leg.

Many people including myself had concerns for this eagle, it's ability to maneuver and feed as well as the potential for infection. What was more disturbing is that the bird was flying freely with the trap attached which would make it more difficult to capture.

I, along with others contacted several departments to find aid for this bird. I contacted Salmonier Nature Park, Forestry and Agrifoods, Dept of Natural Resources and the Department of Wildlife and informed them about the bird.

Days went by and nobody seemed to be helping this bird.

Discussions began on the FaceBook group and a few citizens mentioned helping the bird. Then the question was raised of whether or not it is "legal" to help wildlife.

I have many years experience reading provincial and federal legislation for environmental groups, so decided to go on a quest to find legislation which states that it is illegal to aid wildlife.

After reading through the Canadian Wildlife Act, RSNL1990 CHAPTER W-8 - WILD LIFE ACT, CNLR 1156/96 - Wild Life Regulations under the Wild Life Act, Animal Health and Protection Act and amendments, I could not find anything to state that one would be charged for aiding injured wildlife. I did find that one would not be permitted to possess or remove wildlife from their habitat.

I posted my opinion on the subject and was immediately attacked by a self-professed expert (of the kind who likes to type in CAPS) who stated it was absolutely illegal, when I asked they cite the legislation which made it illegal, he quoted some legislation which applied to hunter/anglers and poachers. He keep pointing out his expertise, downgrading my knowledge, stating issues about "possession" and said to contact "any conservation officer" and they would tell me.

So of course, I did. I first called Paddy's Pond and spoke with two conservation officers. Fist of all to report the bird, then my next question was "could you tell me what section of which legislation one could be charged under for aiding injured wildlife without removing them from their habitat."

One kept making a point that helping wildlife is not "advisable" however did not know if it would be considered "illegal" but did confirm there is no special Provincial legislation for birds of prey, raptors or the like and that they would fall under the provincial wildlife act.

She suggested I email another officer who has much experience in enforcement of the wildlife act... His response..."Unfortunately I’m not in the position to answer those questions however I can forward you to Inland Fish and Wildlife Enforcement regarding the matter".

Inland Fish and Wildlife Enforcement simply told me that it's not their department and that I should contact Wildlife.

I also checked CanLII for legal information and found out that as I suspected, while one may be in "possession" of an animal simply by taking control of it, whether or not charges can be laid will most often times depend on intent. So if you have no intention of removing it from it's habitat, it would appear legally that one would be hard pressed to lay charges, if there is even legislation to face charges under.

Now, I was never suggesting that anyone just go out and try to rescue wildlife, this could be dangerous to both the animal and the rescuer. So I understand why it is not "advisable" to help, as you may do more harm than good. But I am still very interested in knowing the facts and what is legal & what's not.

So in my efforts to find someone in the federal or provincial government to answer my question, I spoke with numerous enforcement officers & conservation officers, none of which could cite any legislation which makes aiding wildlife "illegal", One mentioned that if a situation arose where someone further injured wildlife or injured themselves perhaps something would get done.

I was sent all around the mulberry's's federal....Provincial: it's's forestry...forestry it's dept of justice....and around and around.

Okay so by now the bird is rescued anyway right, it would be interesting to find out the answer but as long as the bird is safe that's all that matters...

Not the case.

On the 17th on January Photographer Greg Noel posted updated photos of the eagle, still flying with the trap attached. Even more people were interested in helping and throwing around ideas and who should be called.

I decided to call again to the provincial departments and see why there was nobody helping this bird. A few said it was the first they've heard of it, even though I had called before, and others said they were aware of the bird but because it was mobile they could not locate it but they assured me it was being taken care of.

I also contact the media (CBC, NTV, VOCM and even posted it to the NL Tourism Facebook Page)

By the 19th another concerned citizen had contacted the head quarters of fish and wildlife in Corner Brook and was told that they will investigate as to whether the trap on the birds foot is illegal or not, and if it has been set by a licensed trapper and that they would do whatever they can to help this bird. The Forestry and Agrifoods Agency (FAA) is responsible for problem/injured wildlife in this province, they told her to make sure to file a report with FAA who may be able to capture the bird and release the trap. She did, as did I.

Another concerned citizen received this reply from the Ecosystem Management Ecologist, Wildlife Division: The best people to call directly are the Conservation Officers in the Clarenville Forestry office if seen again. They have experience dealing with eagles, though it can still be hard to catch that one if mobile and with other other eagles and gulls around. The Clarenville office number is 466-7439. Please pass the number along to anyone else who may be able to report the location of the eagle.

So we did.

Many people concerned about this bird made a great effort to inform as many officials and media outlets as possible about this bird. So now finally they are aware of the bird and something will finally be done to help it.

Not the case once again.

Most everyone received responses such as. "we can't locate it", "it's not easy to catch an eagle", "It's almost impossible to trap a mobile eagle".....

I started thinking, as did others that if nobody helped the bird and if it didn't get an infection, perhaps as harsh as it may sound, the toe may detach and thereby releasing the trap from the bird so it can heal and maneuver properly.

January 29th Photographer Harry White posted photos of the bird once again. While still strong, healthy and flying, her condition was clearly degrading. Her beak was tattered, likely from trying to remove the trap and her eyes look tired and stressed...A little frazzled to say the least.

My heart sank.

More people gathered online to discuss the bird and what could be done to help. I started another media and online effort to spread the word about this bird, as did another member of the group in hopes that if the media got this out to the public, something would finally be done.

I also called Clarenville District Office 709-427-0437 And was speaking with a Conservation Officer, there. I was surprised when he told me that he was aware of the bird since January 10th, a day before the photo was originally posted.

He said he saw the bird himself on Random Island and it had been traveling back & forth. He mentioned that they've been thinking about what to do but he felt that the bird looks well to him, difficult to catch, she can scavenge just fine and didn't look tattered to him. He also said that they are restricted on to how to capture the bird, they can't tranquilize it because it's dangerous for the bird, he said a gun net won't catch a bird in flight and the water-bait traps are only good if they are fishing which this bird is likely not doing. He said that there's pretty much nothing they can do to trap a mobile Eagle except a shot gun, which is something they don't want to do and hopefully she'll survive on her own like that. I asked if they had anything to capture the bird, there must be some tool that can catch it? He said that they did not have anything that could catch her.
He also told me that the trap caught on her toe was a "soft hold" trap and would not break the bone. Oh and he too was not aware of any legislation to prohibit one from aiding wildlife it it's habitat...but of course it's not recommended.

With the bone not broken there was less of a chance that the toe would naturally disconnect with the trap.

I shared this with other concerned people and ideas of what to do started up. I started contacting several companies and rescues to find out what would be the proper tool to catch an Eagle. The answer I was given was "An eagle bownet is probably the best option to capture this eagle". I posted this on several facebook threads and many others agreed we needed this tool.

A few people mentioned we could raise the money and I received messages from 2 people asking if I could set it up. But first I wanted to be sure that we didn't already have one in the province.

I called back to Forest Management Clarenville District and spoke with the District Ecosystem Manager to ask if the had a net. He said that they did not have anything that can capture a mobile bird and that funding is an issue when it comes to these tools. I asked if they could use a bownet if one were donated, he said they could.

Shortly after I sent him the info on bownet I received an email back stating that The wildlife division in Corner Brook has a gun net and they are in process of transporting it to Clarenville. "The manager advises they have used this gun in the past capturing small hawks for research purposes so they are hoping they will be successful." He also wrote "Thanks again for bringing this forward. We’ve agreed we need to look into purchasing this equipment to be shared on the east coast."

I also contacted Salmonier Nature park to see if they had a bownet, the lady I spoke with said they didn't but she thought Paddy's Pond may have a net gun but it needed repairs. I asked her if we were to purchase an eagle bownet and donate it, would they be able to make it available to any department in the government who needed it. She said they often share equipment between different departments and that would be possible. I asked if they accepted donations. She said yes.

I called Paddys Pond and they confirmed they did not have a bownet, they did have a net gun however they too felt a net gun would not necessarily work as they would need to get close to the bird and if the conditions are not right with the winds it may not work.

CBC Interviewed one of the Photographers on a radio program:

So on with the campaign.

I discussed this with others who were concerned about the bird and felt we should raise the money to purchase the bownet. I spent hours setting up the campaign. I contacted the manufacturer of the remote eagle bownet to ask for a rush order on the net as normally takes 4-6 weeks. He agreed to get to work on it immediately and would have it ready for February 8th. I gave him the go ahead.

CBC did a further interview where it was stated that conservation officers could not locate the bird, even though photographers and news crew managed to locate the bird. In the same article they also stated "Conservation officers have been equipped with a net gun that can bait and trap the bird safely." Which is not the story I was told by conservation officers. I was told that it may work but they were not confident this type of close-range trap would catch the eagle.

I launched the campaign on behalf of everyone who wanted to help this bird on the afternoon of February 3rd. The donations started rolling in. Things were looking great.

Then remember the self professed "expert" from earlier? Well, I didn't see any correspondence from this person using their expertise to help this bird, he hadn't been in on any further conversations of the group that I am aware of but he surfaces again. This time attacking me personally.

Rather than going into detail here's a portion of one of the threads he posted on:

He also hijacked the campaign itself with accusations and negative comments but I was going to keep on plugging through with the campaign even though I was personally being harassed.

I always wonder why these 'experts" don't use their knowledge for good? He knew about the bird in the beginning when he was attacking those who were trying to help, then not a word from him on the subject for here he is again.

Then others started coming forward stating that the news said they have nets to catch the bird so why was I raising money for a net? The news did not have the full story. Yes they had a net gun, but most conservation officers were not confident that it would work. Nobody with the province had a proper eagle bownet.

I was called a scammer, a liar, a thief and was blamed for not being in contact with anyone. People who were not following the plight of this bird or helping in any way, had the nerve to suddenly come on board and start uttering nonsense and harassing comments aimed at me because I used my name to set up the campaign, after speaking with numerous people for several government departments.

Then a few people asked for refunds...I was unsure how to do that but started looking into it.

What was worse was that I was contacted for the first time since this ordeal by another individual, and she stated that she was given conflicting information from Salmonier Nature Park, and that as far as she knows Provincial Wildlife have special noose traps specifically for raptors. She went on to tell me this...

"I wouldn't bother with Paddys pond. They're not wildlife, despite the word being on their uniform. They're strictly forestry. They pick up injured birds when people call them and then they break their necks or throw them back out in the woods. I know this because they told me... The reason wildlife aren't doing anything is because they strictly deal with monitoring populations of birds and do not deal with rescuing individual birds. The only rescue we have here is salmonier so I would keep working closely with them to try and solve this. But for future reference, they only rehab rare species, they euthanize any common birds that come their way due to limited resources...."

She messaged me again, "I just talked to someone at the park. They won't be able to use the trap if you guys donate it. She said wildlife has to be caught by conservation officers, not them. They also said the traps have to be watched continuously and wildlife/conservation do not have the manpower to do that. So it looks like catching him won't be happening on their part...She also said gov won't allow the public to get involved with helping out."

There was so much chaos In a matter of moments it kept me up all night trying to remedy this.

The one question I didn't ask through all of this was...If they capture the bird what then?

I had assumed that they would remove the trap and release the bird at the very least. But have since been told that this will likely not happen, if they feel the bird needs medical attention, we do not have a facility to treat rescued wildlife and therefore the bird would only be killed.

Myself along with another active member of the group decided to shut down the campaign, refund the money and hope and pray the bird manages to free itself somehow.

It has now taken me the entire night to cancel the order for the trap and shut down this campaign. I'm physically ill with this entire situation. And I feel intense sadness for this bird.

I figure it's best that my segment of this story ends here as it's been an emotional roller-coaster and at this point, I'm reaching exasperation and nobody wants to hear my ranting of how I wish the fuc....Nevermind.

Thank you to all the lovely caring people who have taken the time to do everything in your power to help this bird, we raised $880 in just a few hours and I think we would have made our goal had the campaign continued.

More in the news this morning:

Shawn Fitzpatrick
1 hr ·
UPDATE: RE: GOFUNDME. We had originally been assured by a person from the Salmonier Line Wildlife Reserve, via phone call, that originated as a result of reaching out to all possible local entities that could be considered to have experience with such an undertaking as was needed to rescue an eagle, "YES".

It is worth mentioning that, $880.00 was donated in a matter of a very short time, and that it was likely that had the program continued that we would easily have raised the balance needed. But that would have been a problem. The idea was that the money be used to first and foremost, purchase a "Bownet" a device manufactured for just such requirements as is ours. It was stated that any funds raised above that amount would be donated to the reserve. As we realized that the reserve would not be in a position to receive the Bownet, it just did not seem right to let the campaign continue and to simply end up as a large donation that was not in line with the original request.

We asked, if we were to donate a Bownet to the reserve because they "don't have one", that they WOULD accept it.

However, under the guise of private messages, it was disclosed by someone that the information we were given was wrong! They, (Salmonier Nature Park), WOULD NOT accept such a device, as there is no-one there authorized to use such a contraption.

In light of this, I asked that the GOFUNDME project be suspended immediately. And it was. I then asked that the funds donated be reversed. it has been done.

I have checked with my credit card provider and have confirmed that the donation transaction was reversed by GOFUNDME, and that all donated funds have been reversed.

All we can do as citizens with no experience in handling wildlife, is to put our faith into the hands of the DNR, (Department of Natural Resources), and to HOPE that they will at least try and save this beautiful bird. I still have my fingers crossed. Even though so many seem to be stuck in the mindset that NOTHING can be done! I say,.... until that negative mindset is broken, nothing can be fixed!



UPDATE: I have stopped donations because of some conflicting information about the situation with helping this bird, and by request . I will add a further explanation tomorrow. Please stay tuned for updates.
Thank you so much to those who care about the welfare of this and other birds in our province and have taken the time to donate.

I will be working on issuing a refund to those who donated tomorrow.


On January 11th 2016, local photographers spotted an Eagle in Clarenville Newfoundland with a trap caught on it's toe. Wildlife and conservation officials had been contacted regarding the injured Eagle and were aware of it's condition since January 10th, yet weeks later the Eagle still suffers because of the lack of proper equipment to trap a mobile bird.

I have been speaking with several wildlife officials and conservation officers across the province and have been informed that there are no bownets available, an essential tool to help capture wild birds.

The total cost in Canadian Dollars (with exchange, shipping, taxes, & fees) for this essential rescue equipment is approximately $2500.

This campaign is to raise the funds to purchase a humane Bownet trap to have available to conservation and wildlife officers across the Island of Newfoundland to aid in rescue efforts of injured birds like this Eagle.

Please help stop the needless suffering, a simple tool can make a huge difference in the rescue of birds like this beautiful Eagle.

Weeks of flying helplessly attached to a trap:

Photos Taken By Greg Noel & Harry White

You can clearly see it's starting to take it's toll...It's beak is looking shabby and just look at her eyes :(

With proper equipment available, situations like this do not need to go on for weeks!

Please Donate.

More on the story:

Wildlife officials in Clarenville have recieved a net gun from Corner Brook and will attempt to use that device to capture the bird. From what I am told by wildlife, this is not the ideal device and attempts may be unsuccsful as a net gun requires a close distance to the bird.

Please note that this is not a government agency or a charity, I am an individual raising funds to purchase this rescue device and will be donating it to the province on behalf of all the donors. Any additional funds raised over and above the cost of the device will be also donated to wildlife rehabilitation.

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