Flying to Freedom on the 4th

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CRESCO - A bald eagle flew back to freedom this July 4th after going through more than a year of rehab in the Poconos.

This bald eagle is more than eager to spread its wings -

The bird was badly hurt more than a year ago.  Bart and Vivian Bartolacci of Cresco spotted it in this field near their home.

"We came down this hill and looked over where that bush is over there we saw this bird," said Bart Bartolacci.

"His claws and his beak, I`m like, ok, he could just take me apart if he wanted to.  But he was so tired i really felt bad for him," said Vivian Bartolacci.

The Bartolaccis called wildlife officers and helped capture the baby bald eagle with a quilt from their home after an hour-long chase.

Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center took the bird in trying to nurse it back to health.

"Well she had an infection and she also had some soft tissue injury in her right-wing which is tendons, ligaments, probably from banging into something," said Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center Director Kathy Uhler.

After more than a year of rehab, and lots of care - the bald eagle is now strong, and ready to fly back to freedom.

The send off - right were it was found last year in Cresco.

"They`re just majestic, and to be able to do this on the 4th of July with friends and family.  It doesn`t get any better," said Bartolacci.

The eagle - now named freedom - said good-bye to those who helped it and flew gracefully into the woods.

Wildlife officials say 'Freedom' won't fly too far. They expect the eagle to stay in about a five-mile area.

"She just did magnificently, and the people here are really supportive so I know she`s going back to a really, really good area," said Uhler.

The Bartolaccis say saving this bald eagle was second nature.

"Oh I would do that with any animal that I could help, it`s just who I am," said Bartolacci.

And if given the chance - they'd help this bird - or any other animal again.

The Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center that nursed the bird back to health is having an open house this Saturday and Sunday.

The Wildlife Center is run entirely on donations.

For more information you can visit their website here.