Inspirational bald eagle finds new home and fame at Hope for Wildlife Centre
In October 2021, bald eagle 450 was brought to the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island after it was injured in a presumed car accident. It was in critical shape, with spinal cord trauma among its injuries. To help save the bird’s life, the staff at AVC performed groundbreaking spinal cord surgery, only the second of its kind in the world.
The eagle, now affectionately referred to as “Buddy,” made an historic recovery, but his injuries prevented him from returning to the wild because he was unable to fly well enough to hunt.
Still, the team had Hope.
Hope Swinimer, owner of Hope for Wildlife, a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation and education centre in Nova Scotia, stepped in January 2023 to give the raptor a new lease on life. Partnering with AVC, she provided him with a home where he could thrive and live out the rest of his days safely.
“He’s doing so well! He’s off his pain medication and explores his home every day,” Swinimer said of her new resident.
Swinimer was concerned about how the eagle, as a wild animal, would adapt to his new surroundings, especially since the centre is open to visitors. All her concerns were put to rest soon after he arrived. While many visitors are excited to see a bald eagle up close, it seems he is equally curious about them.
“He’s always hamming it up! He’s so entertaining and vocal. He’ll come to the edge of his cage and look at everyone coming by. He’ll make noises too. He’s the star!”
In the eagle’s quiet moments away from the spotlight, Swinimer notes, he seems content in his enclosure, eating well and becoming more vocal every day.
“He’s got a good life,” Swinimer adds proudly, “He’s a beautiful bird, and we love having him.”
Hope for Wildlife is also a popular TV show, and there are plans to feature the eagle in upcoming episodes, ensuring his inspiring story reaches even more people to help raise awareness.
“We were just told that production will begin this fall, and we’re excited to see how Buddy takes to the production crew.”
Through the partnership between AVC and Hope for Wildlife, the famous bald eagle’s journey continues to touch hearts worldwide—a true testament that there is hope for wildlife by defying the odds.