Monday, March 1, 2010

Hello wildlife enthusiasts!
The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary would like to welcome you to our new blog series about a Bald Eagle that we are rehabilitating. We have many goals we would like to achieve with this blog series. We will not only give you periodic updates about the bird’s journey through the Wildlife Rehabilitation program; we are also going to talk about the history of eagles in our area, the natural behavior of eagles, and where you can see eagles on your own. We are also going to write about how caring for wildlife at the sanctuary is a community effort. From the police officer that first responded, to the DNR officer that gave the bird a ride here, to the veterinarians at Gentle Vet Animal Hospital who did the surgery, to the staff and volunteers who care for the eagle and hopefully return him/her back into the sky soaring free once again.

This immature eagle was brought into us on Friday, February 12th from the Crivitz area after being hit by a car. Once the bird was reported to the police, the officer contacted the DNR office. The DNR official then drove it to the sanctuary for care. The quick response of the police officer and DNR agent saved this bird’s life: the sooner an injured or orphaned animal can get to a licensed rehabilitator, the better its chances are to return to the wild. When this eagle arrived at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, we did a thorough exam and contacted our veterinarians at Gentle Vet Animal Hospital to have an x-ray done and have his/her wounds analyzed.

This eagle is known as 10R6. It does not have a name, since this is a wild animal and not a pet, which we honor and respect at all times. All of the 4,000+ orphaned and injured animals brought in annually are important, but some, as this eagle, require more extensive care and a longer time with us. From the initial transport, to the first exam, surgery, recovery, flight training, evaluation, to the final disposition, eagles can take months of rehabilitation. Our goal is always to return wildlife back into the wild where they belong, but sometimes that is not possible. For example, there may be complications in recovery, or tendons and muscles do not heal in the precise manner they need to and the bird has trouble flying. When this happens, we try to place an animal with our facility or another facility, or if the animal is suffering and all of our options to relieve the pain have been exhausted, humane euthanasia is performed. Again, our goal is always to release; we do everything we can for every animal that comes through these doors, from the smallest bunny to the largest eagle.

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