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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)–Birds are beautiful testimonies. In October 2022, a female eagle was found in Dularge, Louisiana with a broken wing, most likely hit by a car.

Amy Denton is an Administrative Assistant at St. Eloi Catholic Church. Her and her husband found the eagle.

“My husband is the groundskeeper here. He was doing his patrol and he saw there was a hurt eagle in the cemetery. It was hopping around and looking really miserable. Her wing was stuck out in an angle. We had called a bunch of telephone numbers to try and find somebody to help us,” remembers Denton.

Help would eventually arrive with Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, who would bring the female eagle to LSU’s Veterinary Medicine’s Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana. The eagle would be in recovery for months.

Adam Moreno was one of the many who looked after the eagle at LSU’s Veterinary Medicine’s Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana.

“She was unable to fly, when she came in. What we ended up surgically opening up that joint. We placed metal pins to apply a crossbar over top of that. I think it would have been very unlikely that she would have recovered from her own. Had she not recovered and not been able to fly, her ability to be able to hunt and collect food would be next to none. She would have passed on, due to starvation,” says Moreno.

On a sunny mild afternoon, in the middle of March, 2023, the female eagle had finished her recovery and released back into the wild, near where she was found.

Adam Moreno says he has always enjoyed helping animals. For him compassion is to provide care and provide minimal interaction, so that the wild animals that find their way in distress can hopefully be released back into the ecosystem.

“It’s so special. It’s so validating in what we do. We do what we can to give these animals a fighting shot to get them back out into the wild, where they belong,” says Moreno.

In the Bible’s book of Isaiah, there’s a passage that reads:

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

This scripture can be perceived as a metaphor for so many in South Louisiana, still recovering from Hurricane Ida and Hurricane Laura. St. Eloi’s members are like many in the Houma/Thibodaux area who need help. They haven’t been able to hold mass in their church since Hurricane Ida. An Eagle’s release is inspiring for them.

“It gives us hope here as a parish and personally as well. It gives us hope for the future. We are still very devastated from Hurricane Ida. There are lots of damage and repairs and we are waiting on insurance, FEMA and the Archdiocese. We didn’t realize that it was going to take so long to recover and repair. We see things in a new light now. Instead of repairing our physical church buildings, we need to concentrate on repairing our church parish as the people. Having a good release story with the eagle is so hopeful for the future,” says Amy Denton.

No one knows for certain, what the future holds. The female eagle released today has freedom in her feathers once again. The day and all the hope it represents, certainly belongs to her.

“The time of year that she was brought in is when they usually start pairing up. Bald eagles usually are a species that tend to be monogamous. They mate with the same partner year after year. It was so important for us to bring her back to where she was found. We are hoping that she will be able to find her mate and that he is still around and that they can populate Louisiana with more eagles,” says Adam Moreno.

“When we saw her so broken, it was awful really. We didn’t know she was going to be healed. We didn’t know what was going to happen to her. We just placed her in God’s hands and now I see her and we’ve seen her fly off. You wouldn’t even know there was a problem. Sometimes you go through sufferings in life and we come out of it stronger,” says Amy Denton.