Wildlife rehabilitator Angel Lange brought an injured eagle under control after administering medication at his home in Vincennes, Indiana. For the past 44 years, Angel has been caring for ill, injured and orphaned animals with the goal of returning them to the wild. Working with the national bird has special meaning to him because he is a Navy veteran. During his time in the service, he earned the name Angel after an injury led to the declaration of his death. Now, he feels his calling is to give animals a second chance at life as well.
“I spend more time with my animals than I do with humans,” said Angel. Feeding handfuls of a corn and sweet feed mixture to his pet bison and longhorns is part of his daily routine. In addition to rehabilitating wildlife, Angel keeps numerous pets on the 37 acres behind his Main Street home: three bison, two Texas longhorns, three horses, eight trained doves, five peacocks and a 13-year-old disabled deer called Grandma.
Angel inspected the wings of a juvenile American kestrel falcon. While he will take in any animal, raptors are his favorite to work with. Angel said he can see the different personalities from bird to bird.
Angel fished to catch dinner for an eagle in his care. He also harvests roadkill venison and raises mice to feed the raptors.
Angel gently applied a healing ointment prescribed by a veterinarian to a wound on an eagle’s leg. Like many wildlife rehabilitators, Angel’s work is volunteer-based and self-funded. After retiring as a postal worker, he took a maintenance job to fund the care of the wildlife, including the cost of veterinary visits and prescriptions.
Angel carried the lifeless body of an eagle out of the Southgate Veterinary Clinic in Vincennes. Due to a power line burn that fried the tendons and ligaments in its leg, the eagle was euthanized by the veterinarian after four weeks in Angel’s care. “I would stay up at night worrying about that eagle,” said Angel. “There’s too much suffering in this world and I don’t want to see anything suffer.”
Angel bottle fed two fawns, one with a broken leg and the other ill. He created his own formula that includes goat milk, egg whites and calf milk replacer. “When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you figure out what works,” he said.
After all the animals were cared for, Angel played a quad harmonica in his living room. In addition to collecting harmonicas, Angel spends his spare time playing the keyboard, making model cars and painting. He hunts deer only for human consumption, rather than for sport, and limits himself to one deer per year. Angel is unable to travel away from his home for longer than a few hours because the animals need constant care. In the past four decades, he has missed out on weddings, funerals and vacations because of his commitment to the animals.