A dehydrated and anorexic bald eagle with a fractured wing transported by Alcorn County, Miss. department of wildlife officers to Mississippi State University’s (MSU) College of Veterinary Medicine is now recovering.
The bird, which is protected under federal and state wildlife statutes, was in shock and had a pellet lodged in its wing, according to a statement from MSU.
“We did a quick physical and assessed his symptoms,” says Lori Haas, DVM, clinical sciences instructor at MSU’s Animal Health Center. “Despite being young, he was large, with a five to six-foot wing span. CVM’s role is to evaluate and stabilize wildlife patients we receive and then find them placement at a facility that provides surgical procedures to wildlife. This time, we secured a spot at the Jackson Zoo.”
After six hours of treatment at CVM, two veterinary students transported the eagle to the Jackson Zoo.
“The eagle was in good condition when he arrived at the zoo,” says Michael Holifield, DVM, contract veterinarian for the Jackson Zoo. “He was bright, alert and responsive. He was just thin due to lack of food. We’ve done an additional procedure to enhance his bone healing. He’s doing well with the recovery process and is eating and drinking.”
Dr. Holifield credits CVM with getting the eagle stable for further treatment.
“The fact that CVM had already stabilized and hydrated the bird made our job a lot easier,” Holifield says.
The Jackson Zoo is providing care to the eagle as he recovers. Their goal is to release him into the wild after proper rehabilitation.
A $2,500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot the bird and violated the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.