(WRIC/ABC) — Brothers Michael and Neil Fletcher were about an hour into a hunting trip in Dowling, Canada, when they saw a bald eagle stuck in a trap.
“It needed help so we just jumped in,” Michael Fletcher, 29, told ABC News, saying he had never seen a bald eagle so close before. “It was crazy.”
The two brothers, both from nearby Chelmsford, Ontario, decided to help the eagle. They used a stick to open the trap and set the bird free. The men, one of whom works as a technician and the other as a hoisting engineer, took two videos of their rescue mission.
“I figured no one would believe us,” Fletcher said on why they decided to record the ordeal.
Before they let the bald eagle fly away, though, the brothers took a selfie with it. The photo, which is now Michael’s profile picture, has gone viral and has been shared closed to 3,000 times since it was posted on November 24.
“Neil just said, ‘Hey, let’s take a selfie with it’ and I did. [The eagle] didn’t move,” Fletcher said. “We knew it would get some ‘likes,’” but they were not expecting it to go so far.
“I know it’s a cool picture,” he said.
The eagle was apparently not injured by the trap and managed to fly freely by itself, Fletcher said.
There are about 70,000 bald eagles in all of North America, conservationists estimate. The bird, with its white feathered head and brown body, was adopted as the national bird symbol in the United States in 1782.