CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Two bald eagles found in southeast Missouri are medical mysteries.
“All we can tell you is, they’re not right, right now,” said John Watkins, who runs Watkins Wildlife Rehab in Cape Girardeau County.
They do not have any broken bones, no issues from trauma and, yet, the two birds make no effort to fly right now. It’s a strange situation that could have dire consequences.
“I figure there’s about a 50/50 chance that they may or may not make it back to the wild right now,” said Watkins.
According to Watkins, someone found one of the bald eagles about three weeks ago in Dexter. The other bird was found earlier this week at Mingo Wildlife Refuge and brought to Skyview Animal Clinic.
“They had found it out there in a field. They approached it. It tried to hop. They said it hopped about ten yards away from them. Didn’t want to fly,” said Kelly Manley, a vet tech at Skyview Animal Clinic.
Manley checked the bird out and found nothing.
“We do like a head to tail examination for any kind of obvious trauma, hit by a car, that kind of thing. It presented perfectly normal. It was very strong. It was a little lame. Again, the first day it didn’t want to fully posture itself,” he said.
“Normally the bird, when it’s healthy, will be flying around from perch to perch, and I’ll have a hard time catching it,” said Watkins.
That’s not the case for these bald eagles. So, Watkins and his wife are giving them antibiotics and keeping them fed.
“We’re helping Mother Nature out as best we can. I mean we’re gonna do everything we can. As long as we think there’s one percent change that we can get them back to the wild, we’ll work with them,” said Watkins.
Day by day, there’s some progress. One bald eagle started to fly a bit after about three weeks of rehab.
“Just a matter of time now, we’ll see how they do,” said Watkins.
If the bald eagles do not fly again and cannot be released into the wild, Watkins said there’s a chance they could be used for educational purposes.
If you want to help the birds get better, Watkins Wildlife Rehab accepts donations of unseasoned, raw lean meat and fish, including duck, geese, squirrel, and rabbit meat. Watkins Wildlife Rehab also accepts monetary donations, as it’s a nonprofit organization.