CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Almost a week since it's discovery in Cape Girardeau County, an American bald eagle is on the mend.
The doctor said it's going to take months for the eagle to recover, but if it wasn't found in time, it might not have survived.
"I call 'em Regal Eagle," said Doctor Sean Byrd at Skyview Animal Clinic.
Dr. Byrd said when a wildlife worker found the eagle, it put up a fight.
"It took him two days to actually catch her, because she was so active. She wasn't flying, but she was just taking off," Byrd said.
By the time she got to the clinic the wound was old, so it was hard to tell what caused her injury.
"Wing injuries are the most common. We've seen everything from wing injuries to tail feathers were shot off, and most of them are probably gunshot wounds," said Dr. Byrd.
Doctor Byrd said there's a number of possibilities of what happened.
"I feel like the two ways is that somebody mistakes her for a different bird that's not protected and endangered, or somebody just wants to shoot a bald eagle, which is kind of sad. I hope that's not the case. I hope it was an accident," said Dr. Byrd.
Another possibility he says is that she was hit by a car.
Either way, Regal Eagle is recovering in style.
"She's very strong. Very active. Very healthy, but she had a big open nasty wound in basically this part of her leg. It was full of dead tissue. The bones were broken. So, we had to clean up the wound, and then place a pin in that wound," said Dr. Byrd.
While the doctor said it's nice having her around, pretty soon Regal Eagle will need to fly free.
"That's the only goal is to get her out in the wild. These guys are not meant for captivity, so our sole goal is to get her back in the wild. I think she's going to get there. I do," Byrd said.
In a few weeks Regal Eagle will be headed to Watkins Wildlife rehab in Segewickville, and once she recovers the bird will be released back where she was found.