Nova Scotia

Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre tries to rescue young eagle

Staff at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre performed surgery on a young bald eagle this week after someone shot it.

Bird likely hit with a shotgun blast that left 10 fragments in its body, including its wing

The eagle underwent surgery at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. (Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

Staff at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre performed surgery on a young bald eagle this week after someone shot it.

The eagle was found near Middle River in Cape Breton, not far from Baddeck. It was likely shot in that area by someone with a shotgun. 

Staff at the rehab centre put the eagle under ahead of surgery. (Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

The Department of Natural Resources contacted the centre and volunteers drove the bird to the facility in Brookfield, Colchester County.

Volunteers checked over the animal and found 10 objects in the bird, each about three millimetres in diameter. 

(Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)
(Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

It's likely the objects were pellets from a shotgun shell. 

Helene Van Doninck, the veterinarian at the centre, removed the pellets. 

(Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

Murdo Messer co-founded the centre with Van Doninck. Messer says they rarely treat an eagle that's been shot. In fact, it's illegal to shoot an eagle. 

(Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

The eagle suffered a displaced ulna in its left wing. The bone fused into a new position and that could cause problems when it tries to fly.

The bird seemed in good health when it came to. 

(Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

"It is eating well and is quite feisty towards us, which is a good sign. At the moment it is very emaciated," Messer told CBC News.

"It will take a few weeks to regain its flight muscles, only then will we know. The broken wing has a good range of motion and we are hopeful that bird can compensate."

The rehab centre is a non-profit charity run by volunteers and funded by donations.