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CROW: No suffering in Ozzie’s last moments

By Staff | Oct 2, 2015

Eagle cam star Ozzie turned for the worse quickly but there was no suffering as he died, CROW?officials said Thursday.

“There was no suffering, because he was on pain medication the entire time, he wasn’t dehydrated and we had him on a critical care diet,” Dr. Heather Barron said. “We give every animal the very best care we can give and sometimes nature works with you, other times it doesn’t.

Ozzie, who is reported to have been 20-plus years old, was brought back to CROW Sunday evening after suffering multiple severe lacerations and a broken toe in each foot.

He was brought in by a CROW volunteer, after being found weak and injured in a North Fort Myers’ backyard and was in critical condition when he arrived at the clinic.

An infected wound on his right hip of the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam star succumbed to his injuries Tuesday during his second stay at CROW on Sanibel.

His wounds were cleaned out Monday morning by CROW’s hospital director, Barron, and staff but he was also diagnosed with septicemia, a bacterial blood infection.

“When Ozzie came in Sunday around 10 p.m., he was in very critical condition,” said Barron. “He was in septic shock and was completely flat out down and out and couldn’t stand. His electrolytes were out of whack and he had some nasty open wounds, which were very necrotic and filled with maggots.”

Ozzie was treated with IV fluids, antibiotics and all the rotting tissue which infected his wounds was cut out. On Monday, his condition improved, but Tuesday Ozzie took a turn for the worse.

“His blood work showed he was losing the fight,” Barron said. “We added another antibiotic in the mix. We had to pull him back from the brink, but he was in very, very critical condition by Tuesday.”

Ozzie crashed at 8 p.m. that night, with the staff rushing into his room, trying to resuscitate him. But Ozzie passed soon after.

“The staff was pretty devastated, because he was a longterm patient the first time and also a repeat patient. They got pretty attached to him. But he passed away as a very stoic and strong animal, a very noble one.”

A necropsy will be performed on Ozzie at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia.

Ozzie was treated at CROW?earlier this year after he suffered a broken clavicle. He was released back to the North Fort Myers nesting site he shared with long-time mate Harriet in June.

He recently encountered another male that was attempting to take over the territory and the two were seen fighting.

Ozzie’s injuries included wounds from the encounters but also gashes from an apparent entanglement in barbed wire.

As it has at the start of nesting season for the last three years, Dick Pritchett Real Estate activated the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam on Thursday as Harriet is still on site. An estimated 16 million viewers worldwide logged in to watch the pair raise its young in the first year alone.

The cam may be viewed at dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html