July 4, 2016 / 8:50 PM / 3 years ago

Sharpshooting U.S. veteran frees trapped bald eagle in Minnesota

(Reuters) - A U.S. Army veteran used his sharp-shooting skills to free a bald eagle trapped in a Minnesota tree ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, his wife said.

Jackie Gervais Galvin of Rush City, Minnesota, said on her Facebook page that the eagle had become entangled in a rope. It had hung upside down from a tree near the cabin belonging to her and her husband, Jason Galvin, for more than two days, she said.

Jason Galvin used a borrowed .22-caliber rifle with a scope to sever the 4-inch (10 cm) rope after firing 150 shots. Galvin never hit the eagle.

The bird tumbled 75 feet (23 meters) to the ground. The couple wrapped it in a blanket and took it to the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center, Jackie Galvin said in her posting on Friday.

“We named the eagle Freedom and hope to be able to release him near his home once he is back to health!” she wrote.

The federally protected bird, or Haliaeetus leucocephalus, is featured on U.S. currency and in the presidential seal. It was adopted as the national U.S. bird symbol in 1782.

Attempts to reach the Raptor Center or the couple were unsuccessful.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Sandra Maler

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