US Army veteran shoots through branch to free trapped bald eagle

A US Army veteran fired 150 rounds at a bald eagle to save its life – all in the name of "Freedom".

In what could be the best birthday present for "The land of the free, the home of the brave", Jason Galvin shot his .22 calibre rifle toward a trapped bald eagle for around 90 minutes, saving it from a likely death.

The eagle had become tangled in rope that was tangled around a tree branch more than 20 metres from the ground, KARE 11 reports.

The bald eagle was trapped in a rope wrapped around a tree. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin
The bald eagle was trapped in a rope wrapped around a tree. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin

"It was a good weekend for it to happen," Jason said. "Fourth of July, you know, that's our bird. I can't let it sit there."

Jason's wife Jackie spotted the bird of prey and sought help.

The bird was trapped in the tree and suspended upside down for two days but local authorities could not do anything as the situation was out of their jurisdiction or too unsafe an operation.

Two-time Afghanistan veteran Jason Galvin. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin
Two-time Afghanistan veteran Jason Galvin. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin

"They just couldn't get up there high enough and they just unfortunately deemed this was going to be a loss," Jackie said.

Jason, a two-tour Afghanistan vet, reassessed the situation and decided he was going to shoot the bird down. His wife backed the plan.

When Jason told conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Phil Mohs about his unorthodox rescue plan, the wildlife officer was perplexed.

Jason took 150 shots at the tree over 90 minutes to bring freedom to Freedom. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin
Jason took 150 shots at the tree over 90 minutes to bring freedom to Freedom. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin

"He told me he was a veteran in the service and he wouldn't do it if he couldn't do it safely," Mohs said, figuring it was worth a shot as the bird was likely to die anyway.

The former soldier examined the scene then took out his rifle and began firing the 150 rounds at the tree, assessing his aim between shots.

Bald eagles are America's national bird and heavily protected species, which made Jason said made him feel very odd to be shooting at one.

Freedom wasn't free, but it is now thanks to a soldier and his rifle. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin
Freedom wasn't free, but it is now thanks to a soldier and his rifle. Source: Facebook/Jackie Gervais Galvin

When the branch was weak enough it snapped, the eagle tumbling down into trees below that broke its fall.

The couple named the bird "Freedom".

The bird is recovering at the University of Minnesota Raptor Center and is said to be in good condition and it will be released back into the wild when well enough.

News break – July 5