On February 27, a private citizen observed a Bald Eagle on the ground and unable to fly near the side of a busy road in Chesterfield County. Wildlife Center Front Desk staff coordinated with permitted rehabilitators at Tidewater Wildlife Rescue to locate and rescue the eagle, which was transported to the Center the following morning.
The eagle was bright, alert, and active upon admission. A physical examination performed by Veterinary Intern Dr. Olivia revealed that the eagle, an adult female, was moderately dehydrated, underweight, and infested with external parasites (lice). Multiple superficial wounds were found, including three small wounds on her left patagium, abrasions and significant bruising over the left elbow, a puncture wound over the right stifle, and bruising over the right side of her face.
No musculoskeletal abnormalities were noted, an ocular exam was normal, and radiographs did not reveal any internal trauma. Bloodwork and in-house testing showed that the eagle had a .084 ppm level of lead in her system – a subclinical amount, but still requiring treatment. The exact cause of her wounds are not known, but Dr. Olivia suspects a fight with another Bald Eagle is the most likely circumstance of injury.
Veterinary staff cleaned and bandaged her wounds, administered fluids, pain medication, and antibiotics, applied medicated spray to combat the lice, began chelation therapy to eliminate the lead from the her system, and placed her in the Center’s indoor Hold area. On March 3, veterinary staff anesthetized and surgically debrided all of the eagle’s wounds to healthy, bleeding edges, and sutured her patagial and stifle wounds closed.
During the past four days, the bird has remained in Hold between treatments with the veterinary team. The prognosis for this eagle is currently fair to guarded, as her injuries are fairly minor and lead levels are relatively low. To reduce and minimize stress levels, staff plan to begin acclimating her to an outdoor enclosure during the coming week.
Your donation will help provide veterinary care to this injured Bald Eagle ... and more than 3,700 other wild animals at the Center this year. Thank you!