University of Illinois treating bald eagle injured by gunshot

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URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A bald eagle injured by a gunshot will undergo surgery that a University of Illinois veterinary intern says may restore its ability to fly.

The year-old eagle was shot several months ago and found in southern Illinois. She was moved to the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital this week and is scheduled to have surgery on a broken bone in her wing on Thursday.

Nicki Rosenhagen is a veterinary intern at the hospital. Rosenhagen told The News-Gazette in Champaign that if the surgery is successful the eagle might be able to fly and return to the wild.

“If we can get her flying, this animal is looking at a potential lifespan of at least 30 years, so the investment now is worth the chance for her to have a long and productive wild life,” says Dr. Nicki Rosenhagen.

Little is known about why the eagle was shot or who did it. Bald eagles are federally protected, but not endangered.