WOODS CROSS -- Police and wildlife officers tried to save a bald eagle that likely hit a power line and crashed to the ground Sunday.
However, a veterinarian hoped to repair its wing, but the bird died during surgery.
Deline Erickson, executive director and wildlife specialist at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden, said the bird's heart went out just moments into Monday morning's surgery.
"His wing was severely broken in several places," Erickson said. "He had also lost a lot of blood."
Police responded to a call at 2 p.m. Sunday from a resident who lives near the home where the 5-year-old, 8-pound male bird was first seen. The bird was in the yard near 900 South and 900 West, and people had begun to gather around the wild animal.
"You could obviously see the wing was broken," said Cpl. Jason Matthews.
The bird "was standing up and looking around, obviously alert. There were a lot of people coming around to take a look, and the bird didn't try to get away," he said.
Officers did their best to protect both the bird and those who came out of their homes to see it until representatives from Utah Department of Wildlife Resources arrived.
"Even when the animal is injured, people need to stay back," Matthews said. "Oftentimes, animals are more dangerous when they're injured because they can't get away, so they will fight and defend themselves."
Phil Douglass, DWR director for the northern region, said an eagle hitting a power line does not happen very often, but is not a rare event either. Bald eagles usually get hurt in cities in a different way.
"Bald eagles will come down to roads and pick up road kill, so it is not uncommon for them to be hit by vehicles," he said.
A female golden eagle was rescued Jan. 18 near Delta. Veterinarians operated on the bird's wing after the creature had apparently been struck by a car.