LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -An effort is being made in one East Texas city to help an injured Bald Eagle heal and return it to the wild.
The American Bald Eagle was found along a roadside in Shelby County two days ago and was brought to Longview to be examined.
The mature male bald eagle was found with a broken wing and arrived at the Longview animal shelter, one of the few shelters that could treat him.
“Bald eagles, they can take your finger off with their beak or their talons; you have to be really careful,” says shelter veterinarian Dr. Christine Prior.
With a damaged wing, the first thought was that it was inflicted by a human.
“One of our priorities is to make sure that there’s no foul play that involves a bald eagle,” says Shelby County Game Warden Austin Cryor.
But that's not what was found on examination.
A raptor expert believes the bird may have gotten involved with a rival over the affections of a female, and that’s how he got himself injured. X-rays show a break in the birds left wing made by either a talon or beak of another eagle.
“Our hope is that we can splint it and that it’ll heal well enough where he can fly again,” Dr. Prior says.
Eagles, like all raptors, cannot survive in the wild without flight.
“If it can’t fly and it can’t catch food, then it can’t go back into the wild. There are programs where, if it can’t fly, it can be an educational animal for rehabilitators,” Prior says.
The wing was set and splinted, and the bird was taken to a private rehab facility; only time will tell if he will fly again.
“Even to lose just one of those birds, it’s bad. We’re going to respond, we’re going to attempt to rescue that bird,” says Gregg County Game Warden Todd Long.
The eagle was turned over to a certified wildlife rehab facility to hopefully recover.
Rehab facilities are funded by public donation, and if you’d like to help the eagle in its rehab by making a donation, you can call the Gregg County game warden''s office.