LSU vet school releases bald eagle into the wild
BATON ROUGE (AP) — The door to the large portable kennel opened and the adult bald eagle immediately took flight down the levee toward the Mississippi River.
There, she stopped. Sitting at the base of the levee near the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, she paused to look around a bit, seeming to pose for the cameras used to document her release after four months at the school recovering from a broken shoulder.
Just as Javier Nevarez, associate professor of zoological medicine at LSU, decided she’d been on the ground too long and started down the levee to get her to take flight, the bald eagle decided to do just that and made her way up into a nearby tree to get a better view.
“She’s just hungry,” Nevarez said, noting the eagle was checking out what might be available.
The injured bald eagle released in late March was found in the New Orleans area earlier this year and eventually was brought to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, where the fractured bone in her right shoulder was allowed time to heal. He said the eagle was likely hit by a car.
“Fortunately, the fracture itself was already healing on its own so we didn’t have to do much,” he said. “Her chances are pretty good.”
About half of the 12 to 15 bald eagles the Vet School treats every year have gunshot wounds, said Nevarez, who urged people to remember that the animal remains protected by federal law.
Populations of the bald eagle have been on the rebound after they went through a large decline nationwide, primarily because of the widespread use of the insecticide DDT.