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Ozzie the bald eagle back at CROW after sustaining injuries

By Staff | Sep 28, 2015

PHOTOS BY KENNY HOWELL, CROW Ozzie returned to CROW on Sanibel Sunday evening, after being brought in by one of their volunteers. Ozzie had several open wounds on his back and sides, and also suffered at least two broken bones one of his feet, potentially due to fighting with another eagle.

Ozzie the bald eagle is back in familiar territory and unfortunately, it’s not in his nest with Harriet.

The famous bald eagle cam star is back at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel, after being brought in by one of their volunteers late Sunday evening with open wounds on his back and side, along with at least two broken bones in one of his feet.

“He is very luck to have been found again,” said CROW hospital director Dr. Heather Barron. “Ozzie is not a spring chicken anymore. He is being tested with his fitness, for sure.”

CROW’s hospital staff manager, Gareth Johnson, received a text around 9 p.m. from the volunteer, saying Ozzie was en route to the clinic on Sanibel. Dr. Molly Lien did the preliminary examination on Ozzie Sunday evening and determined he suffered at least two broken bones in his foot, along with older superficial wounds on his back and right hip.

“There have been people witnessing eagles fighting in the same area Ozzie was found and one was down about a week and a half ago,” Johnson said. “But we don’t know if that was Ozzie or not, so it could be totally unrelated.”

Ozzie is prepped for surgery to clean out an infected wound at CROW.

Monday morning, Dr. Barron and Dr. Lien, along with some of the CROW staff, cleaned his wounds. The one he had on his right hip was the most severe and most infected.

Dr. Barron could only speculate of what caused his wounds, but she said more than likely it was fighting with another eagle.

“Ozzie has a history of fighting with other eagles, it’s that time of year,” Dr. Barron said. “He also has a history of being found caught in barbed wire, and with the look of some of his wounds, that could be the cause of some of them.”

Ozzie had X-rays later Monday, but preliminary examinations on him doesn’t show as serious injuries as he suffered the first time he was at CROW. Ozzie had a three-month stay at the clinic for treatment and rehabilitation for a broken clavicle in his wing.

He was released near his nest he shared with Harriet, but onlookers did not see Ozzie return to it for quite some time. He was spotted around the nest last week, before being found on the ground Sunday.

Dr. Heather Barron starts to clean out an infected wound on Ozzie's right hip Monday morning, after the famous eagle was brought into the clinic late Sunday evening.

“He shouldn’t be here too long, although that is hard to say at this point,” Dr. Barron said. “I think he should be releasable, though.”

There have already been calls to CROW from worried Ozzie fans, asking what they can do to help or where to donate.

“Once we know what’s going on with Ozzie, we’ll get the releases out,” Johnson said.

For updates on Ozzie or for information on how to donate, follow CROW’s Facebook page or visit their site at crowclinic.org/.