A bald eagle that was rehabilitated after being shot was released on August 15, 2017. Photo: Lake Area Zoological Society and the Bramble Park Zoo

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate celebrates release of bald eagle that had been shot

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate helped celebrate the release of a bald eagle that had been shot and had to be rehabilitated.

The tribe donated lead testing equipment to the Bramble Park Zoo in South Dakota to assist with the rehabilitation of the eagle, The Watertown Public Opinion reported. She was successfully returned to the wild in a ceremony on the reservation on Tuesday.

"That's important to us as a tribe. We want to be good partners with local communities and it was real admirable and a humane thing to do," Chairman Dave Flute said at the ceremony, KSFY reported.

The Public Opinion on YouTube: Bald Eagle Release

The eagle had been shot with lead pellets and suffered a broken wing, according to news reports. She was nursed back to health at the zoo.

The tribe's donation will enable the zoo to conduct critical tests for lead at the facility. Previously, blood samples had to be sent out of state, The Public Opinion reported.

The eagle had been shot on or near the LaCreek National Wildlife Refuge. The Black Hills Raptor Center said it helped transport her from the federal facility to the zoo in "early June."

On his first day in office in March, Secretary Ryan Zinke of the Department of the Interior repealed a ban on the use of lead ammunition on refuges and other lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Lead ammunition can lead to poisoning in eagles, according to the American Bird Conservancy.

Read More on the Story:
Tribe helps celebrate release of bald eagle (The Watertown Public Opinion August 16, 2017)
Bramble Park Zoo releases rehabilitated bald eagle with ceremony (KSFY August 15, 2017)

Join the Conversation