BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Bald eagles are the emblem bird of the United States, their image is a symbol of strength and independence. But sometimes they need a little help. An injured bald eagle got some medical attention from Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Wildlife Hospital.

“Who wouldn’t love seeing a bald eagle in person right? We only really get to see them on TV,” said Tracy Evans, Executive Director of Development for LSU.

This moment turned a fantasy into reality. Dozens of people gathered on LSU’s campus to witness the release of a nine-pound male eagle.

“Wildlife, they don’t have owners, right? And so they don’t have a person that takes care of them and knows when they’re sick,” said Evans.

Mark Mitchell, a Professor and the Director of LSU’s Wildlife Hospital says the bird was unable to fly and believes the eagle was involved in a vicious battle with another eagle.

“It’s kind of an Eagle fight club. The adult eagles with territory will fight each other and we think this one got pretty banged up as a result of that,” said Mitchell.

Evans says there is no charge for treating wildlife, but LSU Veterinary Wildlife Hospital relies on donations to maintain its program and provide food and medical treatment for animals.

“We really don’t have a state line item to pay for the care of these animals. So a hundred percent of donations that come from these good samaritans pay for their care,” said Evans.

The LSU Women`s Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey assisted with releasing the eagle. Evans and Mitchell said this moment was something you just had to be there for.

“I wish more people could’ve witnessed it. Just the beauty of it and the beauty of what our state’s all about. The nature and wildlife,” said Evans.

Mitchell has been releasing eagles for more than 25 years. He says each release is special.

“The 12-year-old in me gets even more excited when I see a big crowd because it tells me these folks understand the importance of this. And it’s giving them the experience to share with others and it’s going to make us all be more cognizant of protecting our environment,” said Mitchell.

Wildlife animals can be dropped off at the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., including on weekends.