Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
BALD EAGLE RECOVERING TUESDAY MORNING AFTER SURGERY
AMES, Iowa -- The badly-injured bald eagle is recovering from surgery Tuesday (Dec. 9) morning at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
"The eagle is up and alert and doing as well as expected," said Dr. Terri Hanley, who heads up ISU's Wildlife Care Clinic. "So far, so good."
Staff members are feeding the eagle. Dr. Hanley said the eagle is not eating on its own either because it's stressed or because of discomfort resulting from a cracked beak.
A veterinary orthopedic surgeon worked five hours Monday afternoon and evening to mend the eagle's left wing. Rods were inserted through the damaged wing and stabilized on the exterior of the limb. Methods to set broken bones using pins and plates were unsuccessful.
Dr. Hanley said it will be at least two months before it's known whether the eagle, thought to be a female, will be able to fly again. If the bird fully recovers, it will be released into the wild.
The eagle survived a shotgun blast and a crash through a car windshield in Des Moines on Friday. The bird was delivered to the College of Veterinary Medicine's Wildlife Care Clinic by a conservation officer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The bird is large by eagle standards, 12 1/2 pounds. It is at least four years old, Dr. Hanley said.
Dr. Hanley said it's unknown when the eagle was shot. Four pellets hit the eagle and remain in the bird. She said the pellets do not pose a threat.
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