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Injured P.E.I. eagle ready to move to new home in Nova Scotia


When 450 was brought to the Atlantic Veterinary College Wildlife Service in October of last year the eagle was bloody, bruised, and couldn’t stand.

But now, he can fly.

It’s been a long road to recovery since that first night he was brought in.

“He had a lot of blood on his head, and also all his feathers on his head were gone,” said wildlife technician Fiep de Bie. “There were lacerations and there were some lacerations on his feet.”

A spinal injury prevented 450 from standing and forced him to try to use his wings to prop himself up.

Over 20 people took part in the surgery to fix it.

“Surgeons doing the actual procedure,” said Lara Cusack, veterinarian and head of the AVC Wildlife Service.

“We had an anaesthesiologist and their team monitoring the anaesthesia, and then we had the zoo team supervising everything to be able to highlight those differences from a bird to their more regular patients, which would be your dogs and cats and your horses and cows.”

Even afterward, it took months for the bird to be able to perch again, and all that time on the ground caused him to lose many of his feathers and develop lesions on his wings.

“He was able to perch,” said de Bie. “Then fly short distances, and very shortly after, he was flying a little longer distances, and it was all uphill from there.”

The surgery and care 450 needed to get back to this point cost thousands of dollars.

AVC Wildlife Service covers those costs through grants and donations. They’re getting a little help from the University of Prince Edward Island on this Giving Tuesday, an anonymous donor is matching up to $10,000.

“Wildlife services have no home or no owners, so they get brought here,” said Myrtle Jenkins-Smith, Department of Alumni Engagement executive director. “The increase of expenses, it’s really growing significantly.”

The money goes to help animals like 450 get back on their feet.

Four hundred fifty’s enclosure is designed to meet his capabilities. It’s about the same size as the one that’s being built for him at Hope for Wildlife in Nova Scotia.

The AVC Wildlife Service team was hopeful 450 could be released, but his long recovery left him with permanent damage to his wings.

“It'll be enough to impede him from being able to do normal behaviour in the wild, and so we’d never release an animal like that,” said Cusack. “That potentially would have long-term pain, or not be able to care for itself, because we’re just setting them up for failure.”

The team is not sure how old the bird is, but depending on his age he could live another 20 or 25 years. Top Stories

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