Friday, May 4, 2018

Memphis Zoo Rehabs, Releases Bald Eagle

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2018 at 10:36 AM

click to enlarge MEMPHIS ZOO
  • Memphis Zoo
The eagle was barely moving and lying across a railroad track.

But Tim Ward knew what to do and where to take him. Ward, an officer with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), found the bald eagle in March near Ripley, north of Memphis between Millington and Dyersburg.
“He was in bad shape when I found him,” Ward said in a statement. “I knew the first few days were the most critical, so after I dropped him off, I kept checking in with the Memphis Zoo team for updates.”

The Memphis Zoo said it helps rehabilitate an average of three bald eagles a year. Once the rehabilitation process has been completed, the eagles are returned to the location where they were originally found.
click to enlarge MEMPHIS ZOO
  • Memphis Zoo
Dr. Felicia Knightly, a veterinarian at the zoo, examined the eagle Ward found in Ripley. She found a blockage in its throat. Knightly removed the blockage, and kept an eye on the eagle. After a week, the bird began eating its normal diet.

click to enlarge This was blocking the eagle's throat. - MEMPHIS ZOO
  • Memphis Zoo
  • This was blocking the eagle's throat.
“Successfully treating, and ultimately releasing a bald eagle back into the wild is another rewarding way that conservation plays a role in our work,” said Knightly in a statement. “Partnering with the TWRA on this successful recovery has allowed Memphis Zoo to do what we do best – help animals thrive.”

Ward and Zoo staff members released the bald eagle back into Lauderdale County Thursday morning. (See video below.)

Bald eagles were once endangered in the U.S. Only 417 breeding pairs were known in 1963. But in 2007, the birds were removed from the list endangered species kept by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are 200 active nests now in Tennessee, according to the zoo.


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