Bald eagle rescue in Decatur County July 4th

From Decatur County Sheriff Bill Meyerrose

On July 4, 2024, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a caller contacted 911 to report that an American Bald Eagle had just been struck on I-74 at approximately the 139-mile-marker. 

Indiana State Police Trooper Jason Hankins arrived on scene, where he found a juvenile Bald Eagle. Trooper Hankins remained on scene to keep the American icon safe, while trying to get assistance from other agencies and organizations. 

The Decatur County Communication Center was contacted for assistance. Deputies Robert Goodfellow, Patrick Richards and friend of the department Wayne Sprinkle began coordination to get the Bald Eagle safely off the interstate and to a local rehab facility. In coordination with the rescue efforts, the Decatur County Animal Shelter provided a plastic dog crate for transporting the Eagle and blankets were borrowed from Decatur County Detention Facility for the rescue. 

The rescue some-what went as planned and the juvenile Bald Eagle, now named Pete, was secured in a crateand was placed in the back of a Decatur County patrol truck. Pete was then taken to the Indiana Raptor Center in Nashville, Indiana. 

While driving over to the center, Wayne commented, “What a memory this will make, 2 combat veterans (Army/Marine) save an American icon, on one of the most important days in American history.”


Patti and Laura at the Indiana Raptor Center confirmed that Pete was a male, juvenile American Bald Eagle. They explained the process of getting Pete evaluated and promisedto keep the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department updated on Pete’s process. Patti and Laura also stated that they would post Pete’s progress on their Facebook page after he has been seenat the veterinarian on Saturday. 


Special thanks to Trooper Jason Hankins, Wayne Sprinkle, Decatur County Animal Shelter, and a very special thank you to Patti and Laura for taking Pete in.


If you wish to donate to Pete’s care, please contact the Indiana Raptor Center. (


Photos provided by Indiana State Trooper Jason Hankins.

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