Man rescues injured bald eagle trapped in the middle of a busy highway

By Danielle Garrand

/ CBS News

Bald eagle and squirrel have standoff

Dandon Miller was traveling on his motorcycle over Memorial Day weekend, when the traffic suddenly stopped in front of him. Curious, he rode around the cars to discover a bald eagle stranded in the middle of the road — and he jumped into action to save it.

Miller, who was traveling home from a Philadelphia motorcycle and car show on Saturday, told CBS News another motorist was attempting to help the bird when he pulled over and hopped off his bike. The other person was nudging the eagle, but when she opened her wings to fly Miller said that "it was pretty obvious the bird was hurt."

"I do love animals and everything and wouldn't want to see any animal get hurt or anybody else to get hurt," he remarked.

Miller said the eagle was in the middle of the road when he first saw him. Dandon Miller

Knowing she wouldn't be able to get out of the road alone, he came up with a plan to save her. "I took off my flannel, wrapped it around the bird and just picked her right up," Miller said. Many wild animals would likely react negatively to being carried, but Miller said the bird seemed to know he was helping her. He was even able to take a few incredible photos of the encounter.

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"She did not give me any problems at all, she was completely calm," he said. "Honest to God, it was harder to hold my cat than her."

Miller carried the eagle to the side of the road and asked the other Good Samaritans who gathered around him if anyone knew who to call. Eventually, he called 911, who called the state troopers and eventually got into contact with Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. The local organization works to rehabilitate wild birds "with the goal of returning healthy birds to their natural environment," according to their website.

61361913-2278345782431353-2032113400430985216-n.jpg
Miller held the eagle for 45 minutes before a bird rescue organization picked her up. Dandon Miller

The organization took about 45 minutes to arrive and Miller held the bird the whole time, which he recounted as a surreal experience. "Wow, I can't believe I'm holding a bald eagle," he said. "She was just looking around, hanging out with me. It was just wild looking into my arms and seeing a bald eagle. Just seeing how massive it was, it was crazy."

The nonprofit has not yet responded to CBS News' request for comment, but posted to Facebook Wednesday with photos and an update on the bird's condition. The eagle had her wing sutured, her abrasions cleaned and is "resting comfortably," according to the post.

The rescue is confident the bird will be able to be released into the wild, after a few days of treatment, the group told The Dodo. The organization, which relies on donations, wrote that she is the 45th bald eagle admitted to the clinic so far this year.

6abc Action News ran a report about a Bald Eagle that a Good Samaritan rescued on Memorial Day from near Route 30 in…

Posted by Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc. on Wednesday, May 29, 2019

First published on May 30, 2019 / 10:52 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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