Injured bald eagle receives medical attention from LSU’s Wildlife Hospital

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Bald eagles are the emblematic bird of the United States, their image is a symbol of strength and independence. But sometimes they need a little help. An injured bald eagle received some medical attention from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Wildlife Hospital.

“Who wouldn’t love to see a bald eagle in person? We can only really see them on TV,” said Tracy Evans, Executive Director of Development for LSU.

This moment turned a fantasy into reality. Dozens of people gathered on LSU’s campus to witness the release of a nine-pound male eagle.

“Wild, they don’t have owners, right? And so they don’t have a person who takes care of them and knows when they are sick,” said Evans.

Mark Mitchell, a professor and the director of LSU’s Wildlife Hospital says the bird was unable to fly and believes the eagle was involved in a fierce fight with another eagle.

“It’s kind of like an Eagle fight club. The mature eagles with territories will fight with each other and we think this one is pretty much improved because of that,” Mitchell said.

Evans says there is no cost to treat wildlife, but LSU Veterinary Wildlife Hospital relies on donations to maintain its program and provide food and medical treatment for animals.

“We really don’t have a state post to pay for the care of these animals. So one hundred percent of donations that come from these good Samaritans pay for their care,” Evans said.

LSU Women’s Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey helped release the eagle. Evans and Mitchell said this moment was something you just had to be there for.

“I wish more people could have witnessed it. Just the beauty of it and the beauty of what our state is. The nature and the wildlife,” said Evans.

Mitchell has released eagles for over 25 years. He says every release is special.

“The 12-year-old in me gets even more excited when I see a big crowd because it tells me that these people understand the importance of this. And it gives them the experience to share with others and it will make us all more aware of protecting our environment,” Mitchell said.

Wildlife animals can be dropped off at the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., including weekends.

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