Back in the wild: One bald eagle's journey

Monday, March 31, 2014 - 9:38pm

A symbol of freedom is back soaring thanks to the LSU Vet School. Javier Nevarez, DVM, associate professor with the Vet School released a bald eagle he helped heal.

The female adult bald eagle came to the LSU vet school several months ago from the Audubon Zoo. The bird was brought to the zoo originally. The bird suffered from a broken bone in it's shoulder.

"Indoors (for 3 months) for that fracture to finish healing," Nevarez said. "Then she has been outside in the flight cages for about a month now."

Nevarez said he didn't know exactly how the bird got injured, but he said it's likely the bird got hit by a car.

Nevarez explained students helped to get the bird to exercise in the flight cage, to help build back up her bird skills.

"You know it's the equivalent of a runner. If you're a runner out with an injury you can't just go run a marathon the next day. You got to condition back again. These guys are athletes and it's the same way with them. Once they are confined for a awhile you to to give them some time to exercise chase them around make sure they get their stamina back," Nevarez said.

Monday, Nevarez brought the bird to the levee next to LSU's campus to release her.

When it was time for the bird to make it's big debut back to the wild it didn't go far. The bird decided to just hangout and look around.

"That's kind of normal. They are kind of the top predator out in the wild, so they are not afraid of a whole other stuff out here. There is nothing really that's going to come bother her," Nevarez explained. "... It's normal for them to scope the area."

Finally the eagle took her place in the tree top, and from there Nevarez said soon the bird will likely head up North.

"I think her chances of survival are greater than 80,90 percent, so she has a pretty good chance," He stated.

Nevarez said he sees between twelve and fifteen bald eagles a year at the vet school. He said half of those birds come in after they've were shot.

"The fact that these animals are protected. They are not game animals. They shouldn't be shot, but unfortunately half of the ones we get through the year are still shot. We are trying to get the message out so people learn to respect them," Nevarez said.



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