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Emu Ranch, fledgling employee, come to aid of injured bald eagle

Shanna Olsen poses with the injured bald eagle she helped transport to a rehabilitation center last weekend. (Submitted photo)

BY Sarah smith

Nevis’ Minnesota Emu Ranch has quietly embarked on a rescue mission the past decade that tallied another ‘win’ for the good guys over Memorial Day.

The ranch has been active in rescuing injured birds of prey, becoming certified by the DNR to handle such animals, said Patty Constans, who runs the emu ranch with husband George.

While the couple was vacationing over the holiday weekend, their newest employee, Shanna Olsen of Park Rapids, got some hands-on experience with a bald eagle as she helped transport it to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center.

This was no small feat over a holiday weekend.

The eagle was found near International Falls by a conservation officer just before the holiday.

Although The Raptor Center was immediately notified, the eagle had no transportation to the Twin Cities.

A network of conservationists sprang into action, tapping into a network of volunteers.

The eagle arrived in Nevis May 25, where it was stabilized. The next day Olsen and ranch employee Aurora Clark transported it to Garrison, where a vet named Debbie Eskedahl operates the Wild and Free Program, an operation that cares for abandoned, injured or orphaned wildlife until they are ready to be re-released.

From there the eagle is set to go to TRC in St. Paul for surgery and rehabilitation.

“We just love animals,” Patty Constans explained in conducting the missions that have rescued injured raptors. This eagle was the seventh to be rescued, along with falcons, hawks, owls, grebes and other birds.

The ranch also rescues emus and rheas, birds native to South America.

Coincidentally, Olsen happened to be wearing an “American Eagle Outfitter” sweatshirt the day she was called into service.

Her official employment begins this month.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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