TULSA, Okla. – Officials at the Tulsa Zoo say a bald eagle that was rushed to them for an evaluation after being injured will never fly again.
Earlier this month, Oklahoma Game Warden Marni Loftis responded to a report of an injured bald eagle. After capturing the eagle, she was rushed to the Tulsa Zoo for an evaluation.
Investigators say she appears to have been injured between Feb. 12 and Feb. 15.
The bird had a severe injury to the tip of its right wing, requiring surgery and supportive care.
Upon examination, the Tulsa Zoo veterinary staff diagnosed the tip of the right wing as necrotic with permanent tissue damage. X-rays did not show metallic shrapnel, which would confirm a gunshot wound. The damage to the wing tip was severe enough to require amputation.
Because the injury was at the very tip of the wing where many of the flight feathers originate, the eagle will not be able to fly again.
The zoo’s animal health team also found injuries to the left wing and on the toe – injuries consistent with a fall. The secondary injuries do not fit the diagnosis of a gunshot wound.
The bald eagle was in good body condition upon arrival at the Tulsa Zoo veterinary hospital – not suffering from malnutrition or dehydration.
After recovery, the Tulsa Zoo will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department to secure permanent housing and care for the bald eagle, through an Association of Zoos and Aquariums institution or other federally licensed facility.