Bald Eagle Returns to the Wilds

On February 4th, 2023 Teton Raptor Center admitted an adult bald eagle from Idaho. The bird (likely a female) had been shot and consequently suffered a fractured metacarpus. This bone is at the very end of the wing and is crucial for flight. She was quickly rushed to surgery at Jackson Animal Hospital and a pin was placed in her metacarpal bone to allow it to heal in correct alignment. She spent a couple of weeks in our ICU unit undergoing physical therapy and cold laser therapy regularly. Once the fracture healed, the pin was removed and she began exercising in our flight barn.

While it took her a while to regain her flight muscles, she was ready for release in mid-May! One of our staff members drove her back to the area where she was found and released her back into the wild on May 12th. She exited the kennel and spent about two minutes taking in her surroundings, then flew off into the distance and successfully landed in a tree.

As a reminder, it is always illegal to shoot raptors. This includes all species in the hawk, owl, eagle, osprey, falcon, and vulture families. In this particular case, Idaho Fish and Game law enforcement was contacted and this case is under investigation. Shooting eagles carries a stiff penalty of both a hefty fine and jail time. If you suspect illegal activity involving wildlife, call your state’s poaching hotline. These are the contacts for Wyoming and Idaho:

Wyoming Stop Poaching Hotline: 1-877-943-3847
Idaho Citizens Against Poaching Hotline: 1-800-632-5999

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