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Bald eagle released after West Nile virus

Bald eagle released after West Nile virus
CNN.com - RSS Channel - US

by Eric Peterson, FOX 11 News

Bald Eagle released in Manitowoc County after recovering from a case of West Nile Virus, October 17, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WLUK) -- A majestic sight took flight Tuesday, as a bald eagle is back in the wild after wildlife rescuers say it almost died.

The bird was found along a road in Manitowoc County.

The diagnosis? A severe case of West Nile virus.

"Ok, here we go," said Jerry Theys, Wildlife of Wisconsin Rehabilitator.

With a cautious toss, Theys sent an adult male bald eagle on its way Tuesday morning.

"It's hard to say exactly in words, but it's all the people's hard work that has gone into this finally is going to pay off," said Susan Theys, Wildlife of Wisconsin Rehabilitator.

The eagle's story began in August. Jeff Orde was driving on a stretch of South Pigeon River Road in Manitowoc County, when something caught his eye.

"I think it was due to the loud car. I had my hot rod, and he must have heard me coming, because he did some lifted his head and flopped around a little bit," Orde said.

The Howards Grove man turned around to see what he could do.

"He was face down, wings kind of hunched over, he couldn't get up," he said.

The eagle bird was taken to the Memorial Drive Veterinary Clinic. Veterinarians examined the bird. They said the animal was in very bad shape.

"It was totally down. It was pretty much unsighted, and had no coordination. I thought it was going to die," said Dr. Joseph Sutton, Memorial Drive Veterinary Clinic.

Sutton suspected lead poisoning, but tests indicated the eagle had West Nile virus.

"The ones that we've seen have all been neurological, they sieze, horrific weight loss," he said.

Treatment included fluids, sugar and steroids. And after six weeks at Wildlife of Wisconsin Manitowoc Area Rehabilitators, the eagle was ready to go.

"Yes, this is awesome. This is our big day," said Theys.

"I'm thinking to hope to come by here again and see him. See him in a tree or flying in the sky. It's not lying on the side of the road, that's for sure," said Orde.

Wildlife rescuers say this year they have treated five bald eagles with West Nile virus.

They say there are no confirmed cases of people catching the virus from animals. It is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Original Article: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_us/~3/Fogysb20kGs/bald-eagle-released-after-recovering-from-west-nile-virus

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