header shadow

Media Advisory

March 21, 2012

Tracy Ann Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602, traef@iastate.edu


Media Advisory – March 21, 2012

Bald Eagle to be Released After Monthlong Rehab

A rescued bald eagle will be released into the wild after a month of treatment and rehabilitation by Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and SOAR (Save Our Avian Resources), a nonprofit organization. The release will take place at McFarland Park (56461 180th St., near Dayton Ave and 180th) in Ames, Iowa, on March 24 at 11 a.m.

Last month, three eagles were found and brought to the college’s Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. ISU veterinarian Dr. Bianca Zaffarano examined the two surviving eagles (one had already died). Clinical signs exhibited by the eagles were thinness, inability to fly, weakness, respiratory distress and loss of balance, pointing to possible poisoning. Diagnostic testing confirmed higher-than-normal levels of lead in the blood, and possible other toxicities. Treatment included electrolyte fluids with a high-protein gruel, and chelation therapy where chemicals are administered that bind to the lead and carry it out of the system. After four days, only one eagle had survived, and was strong enough to be transported to SOAR where she continued her rehabilitation in SOAR’s new flight pen that gives the eagle enough space to get its muscles back in shape. The eagle is now ready to go back to its natural environment.

A second eagle rehabbed by SOAR will also be released.

Saturday’s Schedule:
10:00 a.m. – Mike Havlik, storyteller who will be debuting a new eagle story
10:45 a.m. – Staff from ISU’s Wildlife Care Clinic and SOAR will talk about the eagles’ rehab
11:00 a.m. – Eagle release

Representatives from SOAR and ISU’s Wildlife Care Clinic will be available to answer questions after the release.
ISU's Wildlife Care Clinic treats between 500-800 animals each year. It serves as a state-wide resource for veterinarians, wildlife biologists and other health professionals.

Saving Our Avian Resources, SOAR, is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1999 dedicated to saving our avian resources through raptor rehabilitation, education, and research.