WHITEHOUSE, Ohio (13abc Action News) - An update to a story about an injured eagle we've been following for months. The bald eagle was found in Wood County in October. It has been getting round-the-clock care at Nature's Nursery.
Every year Nature's Nursery cares for thousands of injured and orphaned wild animals. It's relatively uncommon for the center to take in a bald eagle. The one they are caring for right now is about to get her forever home.
Laura Zitzelberger is the Operations Director at Nature's Nursery,"She's feisty and big. Most eagles weigh between 8-10 pounds, she came in weighing 12 pounds. Some animals put weight on while they are here, but she came in big!"
The eagle was found near Bowling Green. The man who rescued her noticed the bird couldn't fly. During his attempt to catch her, the eagle ended up in the Portage River. The man went in the water to save her.
Laura says the raptor had a couple of injuries including a puncture wound in her chest, "We were able to get that fixed up and healed pretty quickly. But one of her wings was drooping. She sustained a shoulder injury that left her unable to fly."
When it was clear the eagle couldn't go back to the wild, the folks at Nature's Nursery started looking for a permanent home, which is not always an easy task. She is going to Union Ridge Wildlife Center near Athens, Ohio, "How do you transport an eagle? It's simpler than it sounds if she behaves herself. She is going in a large dog crate. There will be enough room for her to turn around but not so much room that she could hurt herself again. She will be riding in the back of my car."
The wildlife center is building a custom enclosure for the eagle, a place she could live for decades, "She still has some brown under her feathers, so I think she's probably around five. She could live into her 30s and even her 40s."
The eagle is just one of more than 2,800 animals cared for at Nature's Nursery this year, In fact 2017 is one for the record books.
Steve Kiessling is the center's Executive Director, "It's a record year for admissions. We are standing at more than 2,800 right now, and we have never hit 2,800. We're usually at about 2,500, so this is one for the record books for sure."
The eagle is leaving for Union Ridge Saturday. In the meantime, there are plenty of other animals at Nature's Nursery that need specialized care. If you would like to donate time, money or supplies, we've posted links.