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Police officer, New England Wildlife Center, attempt to save eagle after being hit on Route 495



Photos courtesy of New England Wildlife Center

Multiple agencies are combining to try and save an animal that was hit by a vehicle recently.

According to the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth, this poor eagle is in critical condition after being hit by a car early this week. He was found on the side of Route 495 by an environmental police officer who was able to scoop him up and brought him to Cape Ann Wildlife, who in turn transferred him to their Cape hospital in Barnstable the next morning.

Upon examination, it was obvious that the eagle’s leg was very badly broken. The lower leg bone, known as the tibiotarsus, snapped and the pieces were extremely displaced. You can see from the before picture just how swollen, bruised and green the leg was when he arrived (birds bruise green due to the accumulation of biliverdin instead of bilirubin as the red blood cells breakdown).

NEWC described the steps they needed to take to give the eagle a shot at survival.

“We knew that his only shot at survival was to perform emergency surgery to reduce and stabilize the fracture before the bone started to die and became irreparable. The surgery took our whole team and lasted for over 3 hours! The damage was worse than we imagined and was complicated by the fact that eagles are so strong! Those powerful leg muscles made it very hard to realign the bone well enough to insert the pins. We are exhausted, but happy to report he made it through the procedure and a series of pins have been placed in the leg.”

Currently, the eagle is resting comfortably, but remains in critical condition.

The immediate priority is to keep him stable, and he will be monitored closely over the next several days. If he makes it through the initial recovery, it will still be sometime before it is known if the surgery worked and if he will in fact have use of the leg.

If you’d like to learn more about the New England Wildlife Center, click here.

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