SEQUIM — A bald eagle that was shot near Beaver last month continues to heal, and wildlife officials are as optimistic as they’ve ever been about the bird’s prognosis.
The juvenile male nearly died when a portion of its left wing was shattered. It is being cared for at a Greywolf Veterinary Hospital in Sequim.
“As of today, indications are that the bald eagle might be able to heal the fracture in his left wing on his own and may not require surgery,” said Matthew Randazzo, public relations director for the Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center in Sequim, on Friday.
“It’s still early, but our hope is that the eagle will be able to begin his full rehabilitation at our center in a few weeks.”
The raptor center rescued the bird after it was found shot near Beaver on Dec. 15.
“The wound has healed, and the fractured ulna bone in the eagle’s left wing so far appears to be calcifying over the fracture,” said Jaye Moore, Raptor & Wildlife Center director.
“He has an awesome attitude, is eating very well on his own and is getting really talkative and expressive.
“We don’t know how his wing and the surrounding soft tissue will handle rehabilitation, but right now everything’s going as well as we could hope.”
The eagle was believed to have been shot by a.22-caliber rifle.
The search for the person who illegally shot the bald eagle continues.
Bald eagles were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in 2007 but remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, according to U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife.
A first-offense violation of the act can result in a fine of $100,000, imprisonment for one year or both.
Penalties increase for additional offenses, and a second violation of the act is a felony.
Tips leading to the capture of the person who shot this eagle can be sent to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is investigating the case, at 877-933-9847, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The raptor center is raising money to take care of the young eagle, as well as other birds in its care.
Those interested in donating to help for the care of the eagle may visit NWRaptorCenter.com or Facebook.com/Northwest RaptorCenter.
________Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at email@example.com.