UPDATE: Salem Police have determined that the trap that snared a bald eagle was in compliance with state laws and the identification tag for the trap was eventually located at the scene.
"It is not believed the eagle was the intended target," Sgt. Mike Wagner said in an email. "It is being considered a rare and unfortunate incident that fortunately had a happy ending."
An earlier story follows:
Thanks to a pair of concerned hunters, Salem Police were able to rescue a snared bald eagle caught in a trap on Thanksgiving Day.
Around 3 p.m. Thursday, Salem Police received a call from a man saying that he had found a bald eagle caught in a trap off of Garabedian Drive. The caller, James Ransom of Methuen, Mass., and a friend were scouting possible hunting areas when they came across the distressed eagle.
Salem Police Sgt. Mike Wagner and Officer John O'Donnell responded to Garabedian Drive and met with Ransom, who took them about 100 yards off the road into a clearing where the eagle was located. Officers found the eagle with its right leg caught in a metal snap type trap, which was set up next to the recently skinned remains of a beaver. It appears the eagle was attempting to feed on the beaver and got caught in the trap.
The officers were able to approach the eagle and cover it with a blanket. Officer O'Donnell held the blanket while Sgt. Wagner and Ransom worked to untangle the eagle's wing from around a small tree and to release the jaws of the trap.
After removing the trap, it was determined that there was only a minor laceration on one of the eagle's talons where the trap had snapped shut. Unsure if the eagle would be able to fly, Sgt. Wagner attempted to pick it up with the blanket, but the eagle was fine and flew right out of his hands. They watched as the eagle flew several hundred yards away, landing on top of a large pine tree.
While working to free the eagle, officers were able to locate an identification band on the leg of the eagle, which contained a serial number. This information was called into federal authorities and a report was filed. Officers removed the trap and are investigating to determine who is responsible for setting it up. New Hampshire Fish and Game was also contacted to assist with the investigation. If anyone has any information regarding the trap at this location, contact Sgt. Wagner at 603-893-1911.