Injured bald eagle won't need additional surgeries

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OMAHA, Neb. -- Eagle 2017-172, an injured bald eagle found near Syracuse, Neb. who had a skin graft surgery at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on August 4, is healing well and will not need additional surgeries.

The bald eagle was re-evaluated yesterday by Dr. Coleen Stice, an Omaha plastic surgeon helping treat the eagle, and Dr. Trenton Shrader, Zoo veterinarian. According to the animal’s care team, the graft looks excellent at this time with 90 percent successful attachment. The treatment plan is to allow the remaining ten percent to heal on its own without any future surgeries.

“We are happy so many people have taken interest in this eagle’s recovery,” said Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery Director Janet Stander. “Any time we can pull together the expertise and resources to tackle a truly unique case like this, it makes the eventual release that much more meaningful to us at Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery. This eagle still has healing to do before he can be released but he has truly gone from a hopeless case to a success story.”

The bald eagle will be kept at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s Hospital for two more weeks to be monitored and continue antibiotic treatment. Following the 14 days, the intent is to transfer Eagle 2017-172 to Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery for eventual release.


Photo of the bald eagle at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium before stitches.
Before stitches were removed from the bald eagle at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Doctors removing stitches from the bald eagle at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Photo after stitches had been removed from the bald eagle at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.