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On the mend

By Staff | Aug 2, 2016

Compared to last month, E8’s physical well-being has drastically improved. During the eaglet’s July 28 exam, CROW checked his range of motion in his right leg, they checked to see if there is any stiffness in his joints, they checked his feet for lesions, and finally his feathers to make sure they are flight worthy. According to CROW, E8 passed his exam with flying colors.

The eaglet’s flying skills have improved as well and now, he is using both feet to land. He no longer favors his right leg. As of July 12, E8 has been off the antibiotics that were used to treat an infection in his femur after being knocked out of his nest off Old Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers by a screech owl May 7.

“Clinically, to look at him, you probably wouldn’t see a big difference in terms of movement but I think he is more comfortable on the leg, he’s a more agile flyer, he is catching some live prey items on his own but still not enough to be able to feed himself in the wild, he’s definitely learning. Radiographically, the leg is continuing to improve. There’s been some remodeling in the bone, it’s looking more like how a normal femur is supposed to look. There’s been no recurrence of the infection in the bone,” said Heather Barron, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife hospital director.

Since he has healed so well physically, all it comes down to is E8 being able to catch enough food on his own. He will not be released until he successfully completes his live prey training which could possibly take up to a couple of weeks.

“He’s continuing to be a little resistant. It takes different animals different lengths of time to figure it out. It’s by no means unusual to take 10 days or more for them to figure it out. He’s only been doing the live prey training for a few days,” Barron said. “He’s so young. In the wild, he would definitely go through a period of where his parents would continue to support him as he learned to hunt on his own and that’s what we’re recreating here in captivity.”