Bald eagle struck by 18-wheeler in Cleburne recovering

A bald eagle is expected to be ok after it was hit by an 18-wheeler at Cleburne State Park.            

A group of park rangers acted quickly to help rescue the national bird of the United States after realizing what had happened.

Bald eagles are often seen over water majestically hunting for fish. But like other birds, they'll take advantage of a roadkill opportunity.

Dawn Yanez with Texas Parks and Wildlife took photos of 4-year-old bald eagle that was hit by an 18-wheeler on Park Road 21, not far from the entrance to Cleburne State Park.

"They get so fixated on what they're looking at and lose their peripheral vision and didn't see the large truck,” Yanez explained.

Someone saw it happen and called to get the eagle some help.

"He went back and looked at it and saw that it was just hopping around,” said Sam Kieschnick with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Yanez got to the scene followed by specialists with the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center and the Last Chance Forever group.

“He couldn't fly. He was just hopping around, possibly a leg injury,” said Yanez. “Definitely not a normal characteristic of a bird with just a broken wing injury.”

Bald eagles have powerful talons. What they found seemed to indicate maybe some nerve or spinal injury.

"He didn't have the muscle reaction that they were expecting in the tight grip of one of the claws,” explained Yanez.

A family of bald eagles has been spotted around Cleburne State Park so the animal and its recovery has touched a lot of people.

"Being so close to the state park and being a bald eagle took special interest,” said Yanez. “I wanted to make sure this guy was ok and stayed from the beginning to the end with him."