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Officials figure out the hard way that webcams and dying baby eagles don't make for happy viewers

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Maine,Animals,Eagles,Birds,Becket Adams

Government officials were forced this week to defend their decision to ignore calls and emails to intervene and save a baby eagle featured on a webcam before it died.

Two baby eagles monitored by the Biodiversity Research Institute were apparently abandoned by their parents and left to fend for themselves.

Obviously, eaglets aren't equipped to survive on their own at that stage and the two started to waste away in their coastal Maine nest. The webcam, which can be viewed anywhere in United States, ran uninterrupted as upset viewers tried in vain to get wildlife officials to intervene.

One of the eaglets died over the weekend, prompting anger and outrage from the webcam’s viewers.

Erynn Call, a state raptor specialist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, explained that it’s common for eagles to die before reaching maturity and said it’d be counted as a great success if one of them survive.

But more importantly, Call added, it’s Maine’s official policy to not intervene in cases such as this.

As of Wednesday, the webcam showed that the second baby eagle is still alive.

The group that runs the webcam, the Biodiversity Research Institute, also defended the decision not to intervene.

"The general view is not to intervene," a spokesman for the group said. "These are wildlife. They're not pets. They're generally better off in their natural surroundings."

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