Whitehouse (13abc Action News) - Nature's Nursery is a wildlife rehabilitation center in Whitehouse. Every year they care for thousands of injured and orphaned animals.
This year is on track to be a record breaker when it comes to the number of cases they handle. One of the animals at the center now is a female bald eagle that was found earlier this month near Bowling Green along the Portage River.
Flight cages are used by rehabilitation centers to help injured raptors.
The cages help the birds build up their flight muscles and catch live prey. It is the last step before they are released back to the wild.
The goal is to have the injured eagle at Nature's Nursery in the flight cage in a few weeks. In the meantime, she is receiving round-the-clock care inside the center.
The eagle is given anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories every day.
Steve Kiessling is the Executive Director, "How do you give medicine to an eagle? Right now a lot of it goes right into the fish she is eating, but the anti-biotics have to be given subcutaneous too."
When it comes to handling the eagle, Kiessling says a lot of safety measures are in place, "It takes several people, industrial gloves and blankets to make sure the bird is safe and the people too. Her talons are extremely dangerous and so is her beak."
The eagle was rescued by a man out riding a four-wheeler. He noticed the bird couldn't fly. During the rescue attempt, Kiessling says the eagle ended up in the river, and the man went in after her to save her. He was able to catch her and keep her contained until Nature's Nursery arrived. She's being treated for several injuries, "She came in with a chest wound that was relatively fresh but it has healed up nicely since she's been here. She also has a droopy wing. X-rays showed it was not fractured or any issue involving her bones. We think it's a soft tissue injury."
A lot of people have pitched in to help feed the eagle, donating fresh and frozen fish. The owner of Local Thyme restaurant in Whitehouse ordered 20 pounds of walleye for her, "We're fortunate because it's expensive to feed a bird this big for an extended period of time. She has already been here for a couple weeks and she could be here another 3-4 weeks."
While they keep the human interaction with the animals being treated here to a minimum, Kiessling says she's been a relatively good patient, "I think they know they are getting help. When they come in they are sick, and just like when we are sick we don;t have a lot of energy. When they get aggressive with us it is a good sign, and she is very feisty." Which should help her get back home soon.
The center relies on donations and grants to operate. If you'd like to make a donation of time, money or supplies we've posted links to Nature's Nursery. You may also call the center at 419-877-0060.