Vincennes University graduate to release bald eagle he saved on Wabash River

Vincennes University graduate to release bald eagle he saved on Wabash River

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September 26, 2019

September 26, 2019 / Vincennes University graduate to release bald eagle he saved on Wabash River

VINCENNES, Ind. – Robert “Angel” Lange hopes Betsy Ross spreads her wings and flies on Friday.

Betsy Ross is a female bald eagle rescued by Lange, a licensed state and federal wildlife rehabilitator and Vincennes University graduate.

He plans to return the bird of prey to the wild by releasing it at 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 27 at Kimmell Park, 2014 Oliphant Dr.

Lange rescued the eagle along the Indiana stretch of the Red Skelton Bridge on U.S. 50 over the Wabash River. She was weak and could barely fly 10 to 15 feet.

“We took her to the vet the next day and we couldn’t find anything wrong with her except she was starving,” Lange said.

He’s spent the past 2 ½ months caring for her.

“I’ve been feeding it, watering it, and nurturing it to try to get it back on its feet and get its wings,” he said. “She’s put on a lot of weight. She’ll eat about a pound and a half to two pounds of meat a day, and maybe even more.”

For 40 years, Lange has rescued animals. The Vincennes native and his wife, Joanne Lange, rehabilitate animals as a hobby on their property near Vincennes.

A wide variety of animals call the Lange’s property home.

“We’ve got buffalo, Texan longhorns, horses, peacocks, white doves, we have a little bit of everything,” he said.

Lange studied Conservation Law Enforcement at VU. He earned a pair of degrees from VU in Building Materials Technology in Merchandising and Construction along with a General Studies degree in the 1980s.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division in 2018 awarded Lange its highest civilian honor, the Honorary Lt. Colonel Award.

Through the years, Lange has rehabilitated 1,500 to 2,500 animals and released them back to the wild.

“Every eagle we get, we find out if it is a male or female, then we give it a political name. The male eagle we have right now is named Trump. An eagle gets its full white head and full white tail when they’re 5 years old. (Betsy Ross) is just now starting to get her full white head and white tail. She’s got to be 3 ½ to 4 years old,” he said.

Lange has helped around 16 bald eagles regain their health and strength. He’s eager to see Betsy Ross returned to the wild.

“I just want to make sure she does take off,” Lange said. “Being that close to the water and being that close to where we picked her up, we’re just hoping that she’ll take off.”

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College

VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers, and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.

In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.

VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 35 other states, and 17 countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at


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