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CNN Hero: Nursing Wounded Wildlife Back to Health

Danielle Berger - CNN
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June 3, 2013
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Mona Rutger has rescued and cared for more than 42,000 animals at her backyard wildlife sanctuary in Castalia, Ohio. (CNN)

Mona Rutger got the call in October: A bald eagle was flopping around on an airport runway after it had been clipped by a private jet.

Unfortunately, it's something she sees all too often, with all types of wild animals.

"Everyone says, 'Let nature take its course,' " said Rutger, a certified wildlife rehabilitator. "But 90% of these animals' injuries are human-related. That's not nature. It's us."

Rutger sent a team to collect the injured bird and bring it to her rehabilitation center in Castalia, Ohio, where it was stabilized and then taken to a veterinarian.

The eagle had three pins placed in its wing and is now building up its strength and agility with the help of Rutger and her nonprofit, Back to the Wild.

Since 1990, Rutger says, she has rescued more than 42,000 injured, orphaned and displaced animals. About 60% of them have recovered sufficiently to be released back into their natural habitats.

"Each animal that we help can somehow make a difference. ... Each animal has a role to play in the food chain," Rutger said. "If just one link breaks, the whole chain falls apart."

Read the rest at CNN

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