ENVIRONMENT
10/08/2014 01:53 pm ET

Drowning Eagle Who Bit Off More Than He Could Chew Rescued By Passing Fisherman

There are fish in the waters of Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, big enough to drown an eagle -- and that's not just an old fishing tale.

Mindy Dick, of the O.W.L. Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, believes a young eagle who nearly drowned early last month likely latched onto a huge salmon, couldn't quite lift it out of the water, and was dragged under the surface instead.

The eagle survived, but thanks only to the efforts of Don Dunbar, a passing fisherman who lifted the raptor out of the lake. He recorded the rescue on video.

"I'd throw you a life jacket, but I haven't got one that'd fit you!" Dunbar jokingly tells the exhausted eagle in the video as it swims toward his boat. He gingerly lifts the bird out of the water with a fishing net and adds with a chuckle, "You're a little tired!"

Once back to shore -- and after what Dunbar has termed an "aborted mutiny" on the boat -- the eagle dried out, yet remained unable to fly. Dunbar passed the bird off to the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, where he is recovering, CBC reports.

The eagle is said to be "making huge strides" and has developed a taste for deluxe quail.

In an interview with National Geographic, Dick added the eagle has also been treated for E. coli, which partially explains why the bird was half the weight he should have been when the center took him in. The rehab society plans to release the eagle back into the wild as soon as he fully recovers, likely in one to two months.

WATCH the full rescue video, below:

H/T Digg

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