Bald Eagle Released at Seven Bends State Park

After eight months in care, Bald Eagle #23-3492 has successfully returned to the wild! A crowd of about 170 people joined Center staff for the release at Seven Bends State Park; luckily, the weather held out and the release went ahead as planned. After a short presentation on the eagle's story, veterinary intern Dr. Emma -- who had performed several of the surgeries to repair the eagle's wing  -- got the honor of opening the crate and watching the eagle take her first flight back in the wild.

"This eagle came to the Center at almost the same time that I did, and was one of my first orthopedic surgeries," Dr. Emma said. " It was bittersweet -- I am so happy to see her back home, but it was also a reminder that my internship at the Center is coming to an end. I'll miss being a part of this work."

One note that has not been previously shared about the bird, but now can after getting clearance from the state biologist and federal agents, is that the cause of the eagle's injuries was a gunshot. Radiographs revealed many pellets throughout the eagle's body; vet staff immediately reported the findings to law enforcement, and the case was under investigation while the bird received treatment at the Center.