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
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.
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 www.vinu.edu.
Vincennes University Newsroom
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports
812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell,
Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom