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Necropsy results: Ozzie succumbed to bacterial sepsis

By Staff | Jan 4, 2016

The necropsy results for Ozzie, American bald eagle and internet sensation from the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, were completed in late December

The report is broken down in detail by Dr. Heather Barron, CROW’s hospital director.

The necropsy was performed by Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study.

The final diagnosis was that bacterial sepsis was secondary to trauma; resulting in anticoagulant rodenticide (brodifacoum) exposure.

“The wounds sustained from fighting with another male eagle festered and allowed bacteria to enter Ozzie’s bloodstream,” Barron said. “Unfortunately, by the time Ozzie presented to CROW the infection had spread throughout all his major organs and he was unable to overcome the bacteremia despite the use of very powerful intravenous antibiotics, intensive supportive care, and surgery to remove the necrotic tissue.”

Ozzie was also tested for a large number of toxins. Although some low levels of certain kinds of toxins, such as rat bait poison, were found, it is unlikely that this was clinically significant in Ozzie’s case.

Most raptors living in suburban areas will have at least traces of rodenticides in their system.

“But it is important to realize that pest control can have unintended, and potentially fatal, consequences for non-target species,” Barron said. “Please talk to your pest control company about making the most environmentally and wildlife friendly choices available.”

Ozzie’s long-time mate, Harriet, has bonded and mated with a new male eagle. The pair is brooding a pair of eggs, one laid Dec. 19, the second Dec. 22.

The live eagle cam may be viewed at