Bald eagle hit by semi-truck undergoes surgery to repair wing

TACOMA, Wash. –  A doctor from BluePearl Veterinary Partners performed surgery Wednesday morning on an adult female bald eagle whose left wing was fractured after she was hit by a semi-truck.

During the 2-hour procedure, Dr. Stephanie Lister Grey attached an acrylic frame to bones in the bird’s wing using small iron pins. The frame will hold the bones in place until the fracture mends.

“Birds heal very quickly,” said Lister Grey, a board-certified surgeon with BluePearl. “But you have to be very careful. If you don’t get it perfectly straight, it could affect the bird’s ability to be released.”

Eagle2The eagle will be brought back to BluePearl in about three weeks for a re-examination. The frame is expected to be removed at that time. eagle4ck

“She responded really well,” said Lister Grey. “Long-term, we have every expectation that she will be released.”

The eagle was brought to BluePearl by For Heaven’s Sake Rescue & Rehabilitation. Claudia Supensky, the group’s founder and director, said they received the bird from Washington State Fish and Wildlife officers, who told them the eagle was hit by a semi-truck near Yelm, Wash., and got caught in the vehicle’s side mirror.

The group has been feeding and caring for the eagle since the April 9 accident. If the bird is unable to be released, she will remain at For Heaven’s Sake where she will be used to help educate the public about bald eagles, Supensky said.

“Obviously, you have to take it step by step,” said Supensky. “But our purpose is to take injured or orphaned wildlife and, after they have been rehabilitated, return them to the wild. That’s our hope in this case, too.”