A Minnesota State Trooper found himself in a very rare position: He was able to save the life of an injured bald eagle.
The Minnesota State Patrol recalled the incident in a Facebook post, accompanied by pictures of the eagle and an update on its condition.
Troopers are used to helping stranded motorists or lending a hand at the scene of a crash. Helping bald eagles? Not so much.
But a trooper who came across an injured eagle Sunday at Interstate 494 and Pilot Knob Road in Eagan got creative and was able to get the bird the help it needed. The bird was hit by a car and had made its way to the shoulder by the time the trooper arrived. The trooper used his coat to cover and pick up the injured eagle. He placed it in the back seat of his squad [car and] transported it to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center.
After X-rays, Raptor Center staff reported no broken bones but did say the eagle had internal injuries. They are optimistic the eagle will make a full recovery after treatment.
The post went viral, garnering 4,000 likes and over 680 shares in just one day.
"I saw this happen yesterday and sobbed after I drove by. Another lady in the car next to me was also crying. I am so so sooooo happy to hear the bird was picked up and is in safe hands!!! Thank you so much!!!!" one reader commented.
"[These are] the kind of stories that need to be shared and on the news. Good hearted people stopping and helping. Thank you to the trooper and glad the eagle is going to be okay," another added.
In a similar incident, two Canadian brothers had the unique opportunity of taking a selfie with a bald eagle they rescued from a trap. 29-year-old Michael Fletcher told NBC News that he and his brother, Neil, discovered the bird while hunting and rushed to help it.
"When we got close to the bird, it tried to fly away. So I took my hoodie off and put it around its head, it calmed it right down," he said, adding that it "took a while to open the trap."
The bird appeared to be uninjured, and the brothers set it free after taking the special selfie.