Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Videos: Bald Eagle Gains Independence (Briefly) At Dodger Stadium

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

The bald eagle, despite being a national symbol, has not always been treated with reverence. For decades they had been hunted for fun, and the use of DDT caused major issues. Things were so bad that, in 1963, it was estimated that there were only 417 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the Lower 48, according to the National Wildlife Foundation. But, thanks to conservation efforts, the bald eagle population has bounced back. They're no longer listed as endangered.

That doesn't mean they forgot what we did to them, however. On Monday—the day of America's independence—one eagle (briefly) escaped its handler at Dodger Stadium and went on a flight for freedom. It happened during a pre-game show: the eagle (loaned from the Los Angeles Zoo) was released from above the top deck and was expected to fly to a trainer waiting at center field. The eagle flew past its master, however, and kept coasting into the pavilion area, reports the L.A. Times. The funniest part is when a couple of zoo workers are seen running after the bird.

The scene was dramatic. Just as the U.S. said "buh-bye" to the British Empire in 1776, the bald eagle said "sayonara" to Vin Scully and employees of the L.A. Zoo.

Support for LAist comes from

Its independence was short-lived, however. According to AP, a few innings into the game the Dodgers announced that the eagle had been found.

Maybe it had a change of heart? Either way, Chinook got its taste of freedom for a few precious moments. The eagle showed total disregard for the crowd of 47,000-plus spectators. It was as American as it gets.

Here are a couple videos of the inspiring display of freedom: