BRADENTON BEACH -- The visit to the veterinarian was supposed to be routine.
Gail and Ed Straight, Wildlife, Inc.’s longtime owners, had tended to the injured adult female bald eagle for four days and it looked like it was recovering when they visited Dr. Jack Landess in Nokomis.
“I was hoping he’d check it out, say the blood work is great, we’d bring her back and release her in a couple of weeks,” Gail Straight said.
What Landess told them stunned them.
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The infection had spread to the eagle’s vital organs and would need a miracle to survive.
The Straights left the eagle, which was at least 5, in the vet’s care but his best efforts were in vain.
The eagle expired last Saturday.
“Dr. Jack said she had been injured at least 10 to 14 days before she was brought to us,” Gail Straight said. “When we saw the blood work we knew it was a real problem. The liver levels were off the charts because of the infection.
“He was trying everything to try to get the liver functoning again, but it was just so damaged.”
Initial X-rays showed it was not a bullet wound as feared.
The Straights cleaned and bandaged the wound, put the eagle on antibiotics and were encouraged how she was coming around.
“It’s hard enough when you see something small come in and it doesn’t make it,” she said. “When you see something as magnificent as that eagle was, it breaks your heart. You try not to differentiate between animals, but sometimes it’s hard.”
For more, see Wednesday's Bradenton Herald.