Sam Ratuski ran across lanes of incoming highway traffic to #rescue an injured #…




Sam Ratuski ran across lanes of incoming highway traffic to #rescue an injured #baldeagle on Saturday.

“I realize it may not have been the safest thing to do, but I’ve grown up in the outdoors and have always had a deep respect for animals,” Ratuski told local CBS affiliate WCCO of his one-man emergency rescue operation. “So as long as I wasn’t putting anyone at risk, I had to help it — it’s our national bird.”

At first, Ratuski was worried he was too late. “My heart dropped when I thought it was dead, but when I got closer I could see its head lifted up off the pavement,” he recalled. But the moment he realized there was hope, he moved in to save its life. An unidentified couple driving a U-Haul even slowed traffic so that he could safely cross.

Authorities arrived just after Ratuski had safely transported the eagle back to his truck. “I didn’t ask how they saw me, but I can assume they saw me on the traffic cameras or someone else called 911 and said ‘there was some guy carrying an eagle down the interstate,’” he said.

The #Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was called to take and care for the injured avian American, marking a happy end to a brief but harrowing episode. The bald eagle is protected as the official bird of the United States of #America. Despite being nearly driven to extinction by hunting and pesticides, the majestic raptors have rebounded into a healthy population in recent years — aided by people like Ratuski. #binspirednews

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