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Illinois hunting and fishing

An injured juvenile bald eagle irecovers at Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center near Durand. Photos by Scott Morgan.

Eagle found with gunshot recovering after surgery

November 07, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Rockford Register-Star

DURAND — A young bald eagle found shot Oct. 30 along the Illinois River is stable and recovering from surgery at Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Durand.

Shotgun pellets fractured a bone in the 8-month-old eagle’s wing. It was spotted trying to fly and taken to Countryside Animal Clinic in Streator, where veterinarian Robert Harms performed a successful surgery.

The bird was transferred Thursday to Hoo Haven.

Volunteers will look after the bird until spring when it will be released into the wild.

“He is stable, but guarded,” Hoo Haven Director Karen Herdklotz said. “There’s always a huge chance of infection, so we’re making sure he’s on antibiotics and gets extra vitamins and minerals.”

Hoo Haven has provided a sanctuary to dozens of injured eagles from Illinois, Iowa and southern Wisconsin.

Each one presents its own challenges, Herdklotz said.

Harms inserted pins in the juvenile eagle’s injured wings. The bird will be transferred back to Streator in three weeks to see whether the pins are ready to be taken out.


Illinois hunting and fishing

Steve Herdklotz looks at the x-rays of a shot and wounded juvenile bald eagle Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, at Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center near Durand.


“Two weeks after that he’ll be ready for his final checkup and then go into a larger area where he can start moving his wings,” Herdklotz said.

The bird will undergo physical therapy exercises, much like a person, because an eagle’s wings and legs can lock up if left inactive for too long, she said.

Hoo Haven seldom releases birds in the winter because food is scarce.


Illinois hunting and fishing

Eagles are no longer considered threatened but still enjoy special protections under the law.


Illinois Conservation Police are searching for the shooter.

Eagles are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and violators can face up to a year in prison and fines of up to $100,000.

Anyone with information about the shooting can call the state’s Illinois Target Poacher Hotline, 877-236-7529.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward in the case.

Reach staff writer Greg Stanley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 815-987-1369.

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