The mission of the Minnesota State Patrol is to protect and serve all people in Minnesota. Apparently that includes wildlife, too.

Trooper Dan Beasley came to the rescue of an injured bald eagle on Dec. 11 near Hanover in Wright County. He used a blanket to capture the bird, which was then turned over to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center in St. Paul for treatment.

Troopers have had a lot of close encounters with eagles this year, a statement from the patrol said.

In March, trooper Paul Kingery saved a bald eagle from death when he scooped up an injured bird that had been hit by a car on Interstate 494 in Eagan. He took the eagle the Raptor Center for treatment. Two months later Kingery helped set the 8-pound bird free.

Also in March, another trooper picked up an injured eagle off of Hwy. 21 near Shields Lake in Rice County and got it to safety.

In September, a Wisconsin state trooper and Pepin County sheriff's deputy rescued an eagle lying in the middle of Hwy. 10 east of County Road BB near Durand, Wis. The eagle was taken to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha for care.

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