Boaters Spot Bald Eagle In Trouble And Know What They Have To Do

They wrapped him in a blanket so he would be safe and comfortable.

A group of friends were out boating on the Illinois River in Oklahoma last weekend, when they spotted something seeming to struggle along the shore. 

As they moved closer they realized it was a bald eagle, that particularly iconic wild bird — and he was really in trouble. 

A "limb line," a kind of fishing line that's tied to a tree, had been left unattended. The hook and line had become tangled up in the bald eagle's feathers and he was struggling to move. No one knows exactly how long he'd been trapped, but he must have been exhausted. 

"The group worked together to remove the hook and entangled line from the bird," the Oklahoma Game Wardens (OGW) wrote on Facebook. "Once free, the bird was unable to fly due to injuries. "

So the friends knew that the best thing for the bird would be to take him with them. "They safely transported the eagle down river," OGW wrote.

After wrapping the eagle in a blanket and making sure he was comfortable, the friends continued along the river. Farther down, they were able to meet up with one of the game wardens, who took the eagle in his truck to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Their willingness to go above and beyond for the bird likely saved his life.

The rescue serves as a cautionary tale and reminder for all fishermen to be responsible about their fishing lines

"Anglers are required to check limb lines at least once every 24 hours," OGW reminded Oklahomans. "If unable to do so, limb lines should be removed in order to help prevent unintended wildlife from getting entangled."

When it comes to helping an individual suddenly in trouble, it helps to remember that we're all ultimately in the same boat — thankfully, that's just what these boaters understood (literally and figuratively).