Friday, August 14, 2020

UPDATED: Ailing Bald Eagle Passes Away

Note: This article was updated the morning of July 6 with additional information on the condition of the bald eagle.

UPDATED July 7, 2020 5:00pm
From the San Diego Humane Society:

It is with heavy hearts we share that the ailing bald eagle admitted to San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife on July Fourth has passed away.

This morning the juvenile bird was having more difficulty breathing, despite receiving supplemental oxygen in the critical care unit at our Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center.
Our highly trained medical staff knew they had to find out why the bird was not able to breathe. They sedated and anesthetized the bald eagle for a thorough exam. Full body x-rays showed no obvious abnormalities. SeaWorld provided an endoscope to help visualize the inside of the eagle’s trachea and GI tract. There were some small parasites in the bird’s throat but not likely to be the major issue. There was also evidence of slow gut movement in the GI tract. Once the diagnostic procedures were finished, the gas anesthesia was turned off but the bird never woke up from the anesthesia. Several efforts were made to resuscitate the bald eagle, but we were unsuccessful.

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Our staff and partners have done everything in their power to help this bald eagle, and are extremely saddened by today’s outcome.

bald eagle
Image courtesy of San Diego Humane Society

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On the 4th of July holiday, San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife admitted a bald eagle, the national bird of the United States of America. The magnificent bird was rescued and brought in by SoCal Parrots after it had been observed on the ground for a couple of days in Alpine.

bald eagle
Image courtesy of San Diego Humane Society

The bald eagle is dehydrated, has been given fluids and also been treated for mites. While the prognosis is guarded, the bird’s condition is stable in the critical care unit at the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center.

It is extremely rare for San Diego Humane Society to admit a bald eagle. SDHS is hoping this majestic bird will respond well to its treatment so it can be released back into the wild soon again.

No other details about the bird’s condition were available.

UPDATE July 6, 8:45am

At this time, the eagle is standing stronger and brighter. He was sedated Sunday morning for radiographs (X-rays) and a blood draw. He was also given fluids. Currently, he is breathing heavy, although slightly improved from intake. We submitted his samples of blood and feces for full evaluation, including a lead test.

Sunday afternoon, staff at the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center report they were able to successfully hand feed the bird.

The bald eagle is a juvenile, a fledgling, who has not been seen flying on his own. The SDHS Project Wildlife goal is to provide him nourishment and stabilize him as quickly as possible, so he can return to his family before it may fly off.

The prognosis remains guarded. The bald eagle will remain in the critical care unit, where he receives extra oxygen.

bald eagle
Image courtesy of San Diego Humane Society

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Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:


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