Saved Bald Eagle Returns to Wild as Rescuer Faces Trial

A bald eagle rescued by a nature photographer from central Illinois has recovered and been released to the wild, but the man credited with saving him faces misdemeanor charges of interfering with wildlife.

Steve Patterson says he found two baby eagles and their nest blown out of a tree in June 2013. One appeared seriously injured. So he took them to his home in Oglesby, along the Illinois River, and called Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, a not-for-profit group that took them in. The second eagle is still recovering.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Patterson's case has become a rallying point for those pushing for a law to shield good Samaritans helping injured wildlife.

Republican State Rep. Bob Pritchard, of Hinckley, has filed legislation for the session beginning Jan. 14.

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