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Wild and free once more

Dr. Katie Baratto, veterinarian with the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital prepares an eagle for release. Photos by Jim Lease1 / 11
Students at Rippleside Elementary School cheer as a bald eagle is released after it was rehabilitated at Wild and Free in Garrison. Photo by Jim Lease 2 / 11
Recovered after a collision with a car, a bald eagle waits in a carrier in Aitkin before its release back into the wild. Photo by Jim Lease3 / 11
Dr. Katie Baratto, veterinarian at Wild and Free at the Garrison Animal Hospital extracts a bald eagle from a carrier. Photo by Jim Lease4 / 11
Injured in a collision with a car, veterinarians at the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital were able to care for an adult bald eagle until it was ready to be released into the wild. Photo by Jim Lease5 / 11
Injured in a collision with a car, veterinarians at the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital were able to care for an adult bald eagle until it was ready to be released into the wild. Photo by Jim Lease6 / 11
Injured in a collision with a car, veterinarians at the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital were able to care for an adult bald eagle until it was ready to be released into the wild. Photo by Jim Lease7 / 11
Injured in a collision with a car, veterinarians at the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital were able to care for an adult bald eagle until it was ready to be released into the wild. Photo by Jim Lease8 / 11
Injured in a collision with a car, veterinarians at the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital were able to care for an adult bald eagle until it was ready to be released into the wild. Photo by Jim Lease9 / 11
Injured in a collision with a car, veterinarians at the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital were able to care for an adult bald eagle until it was ready to be released into the wild. Photo by Jim Lease10 / 11
Dr. Katie Baratto, veterinarian with the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital prepares to launch a bald eagle into the air in Aitkin in the spring of 2018. Photo by Jim Lease11 / 11

AITKIN—Injured in a collision with a car, an adult bald eagle was cared for by veterinarians at the Wild and Free program at the Garrison Animal Hospital until it was ready to be released into the wild.

This spring, Dr. Katie Baratto, veterinarian at Wild and Free, released the eagle in front of a group of school children at Rippleside Elementary School in Aitkin. Each year, the school kids raise money for Wild and Free, which tries to do a release at the school.

The eagle was loaded into a carrier for the trip. After a short talk about the bird's rehabilitation, Baratto helped launch the bird in time with a countdown by the children. As the eagle flew toward the woods, the children cheered, jumped up and down and gave the national bird a standing ovation.

Wild and Free is a nonprofit dedicated to caring for local wildlife, as well as educating people about wildlife and habitat. Go to www.brainerddispatch.com for additional photos.

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