A nationwide debate began over U.S. wildlife intervention when officials rescued an injured eagle that was suffering from a broken wing. The injured eagle was part of a nest of eaglets that were being broadcasted to thousands of people all over the world.
On the other hand, a moose was found in pain from an open wound where its tail should have been in Minnesota. Wildlife experts agreed that it was a result of a wolf attack and chose to leave it alone.
These types of natural events in the wild highlight a nationwide issue that’s common all throughout the country: when should we let nature take its course and when is it appropriate to intervene?
“It depends on the circumstances in each case, and often it depends on how man has affected the situation,” Dough Inkley, a senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation said, according to The Associated Press.
Though every animal is needed to maintain genetic diversity, Inkley and other biologists prefer leaving it up to nature’s wisdom, though intervention can occur with endangered species or when humans caused the problem, says AP.
Yellowstone National Park spokesperson Amy Bartlett says that officials hardly intervene with nature. The only case she could remember was when a grizzly bear was hit by a car several years ago.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced a “hands-off” approach when they went live with an EagleCam this spring. The EagleCam had a large following when three baby eagles hatches, though soon after one of the chicks began experiencing issues.
Eagle-viewers demanded that action take place, posting a slew of complaints on the Nongame Wildlife Program’s Facebook page along with calls to the governor’s office. Officials then decided to take the injured eagle from its nest, according to AP.
The eaglet was taken to The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, where vets found it had a systemic infection and a broken wing. They were forced to euthanize the eaglet after determining it had no chance of surviving in the wild or living a pain-free life in captivity.