Lot’s happening, life is busy and I find that I spend the few moments for social networking leaving little bits on FaceBook instead of keeping this blog up to date. Still, I did want to take a moment to share this story with you.
Free Spirit is our resident Bald Eagle at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve where I spend a fair amount of time helping to take care of raptors that are in permanent captivity due to wing and or vision injuries. Spirit has been in captivity since she was four, following a venomous snake bite and she’s now an older gal, in her mid-twenties. Tuesday morning this past week she was discovered snagged on her perch, dangling and floundering. This is the same super luxe enclosure she’s been in for years so it was a terrible fluke; we have no idea how or why it happened.
Gabe, our lead volunteer (he gives new meaning to donating your time and talents) was there within minutes and our visiting vet specialist was close on his heels. Most of Tuesday she was in such a state, despite some sedation and pain relief, that she couldn’t be closely examined and Tuesday night she continued to be “shocky” at the vet’s. By Wednesday morning they got an x-ray and consulted with an eagle specialist in Alaska and Wednesday afternoon she had surgery to repair a broken leg. It was broken near the ankle and close to a nerve that services the foot so it was all pretty touch and go. Today, Friday, things are looking up and we are keeping our fingers crossed that this very special bird makes a good recovery.
Spirit continues to mend, with a little more energy today. She spent a fair amount of time bouncing up and down on that leg. Dr. Janine Ciancioto, who did her surgery on Wednesday, came by again this evening to change the dressing and give her some more pain meds and antibiotics. She also gave her what looked like “Carnivore Ensure” via a tube feeding because Spirit doesn’t eat as well when crated. Hopefully there will be a break in the weather soon and she can get out into the new smaller aviary where she has fresh air and some freedom of movement but not enough room to get into trouble while her leg mends. Below, we get Spirit out of her crate and cover her head to calm her down. Any idea how strong a frightened eagle is?
The expression on Spirits face as she gets a shot puts me in mind of taking a small child to the pediatrician. You wish that you could help her understand that all of this manhandling is in her best interests.
Dr. Ciancioto inspects the incision and changes Spirit’s dressing. Her foot is still swollen but looks clean.
This wonderful creature is still not out of the woods, but we’re encouraged thus far. She certainly showed her strength today, struggling against us. She used the injured foot to grab on to the glove today in the midst of things and that was a great sign since a part of the surgery included a tendon repair. I’ll keep you posted.
Have a great weekend. Try to avoid buying too many appliances on President’s Day.