Family frees bald eagle from trap in Mat-Su Valley

Published: Apr. 24, 2017 at 3:18 PM AKDT
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What started as a family 4-wheeling adventure, near the Knik River, quickly turned into a mission to rescue a bald eagle from a trap, on Saturday.

Koby Perkins said it was his dog that initially sniffed out the eagle, once the group stopped.

"We started looking at it and started taking some pictures, and we realized the eagle wasn't really moving, so we got my dog out of there," Perkins said. "It tried to fly away, and there was a trap stuck to his foot, so it couldn't move."

Perkins said that's when he worked to open the trap.

"I was pinching down the trap, and then I had Nina come over and open up the flap for me so we could get it off of its foot," Perkins said.

Perkins' daughter, Cassidy, documented those efforts, recording video and photos.

"You could see him blinking, but that was one of the only signals we could see that he was still alive," Cassidy said.

Once the bird was free, Perkins contacted Wildlife Troopers for further instructions.

"I told 'em what was going on [and] what was happening. Told 'em I got the trap off," Perkins said. "[I] wanted to make sure what we're doing - we're not gonna get in trouble for. But we wanted to get the eagle off of there, cause it was suffering,"

While they were unable to capture the eagle and bring it to a rehabilitation facility, the kids said they'll remember the eagle for a long time.

The group now calls the eagle "Freedom Liberty Justice."

Anyone who encounters a similar situation is asked to call the Alaska Department of Fish and Game or Wildlife Troopers.

You can also report a wildlife encounter for injured, aggressive or orphaned animals at