BEND, Ore. - We've been following the recovery of a badly hurt bald eagle found near La Pine two weeks ago, and we're happy to report he is continuing to get better as raptors vets are staying optimistic.
On Sunday, Dr. Jeff Cooney was excited to tell NewsChannel 21 the poor guy stood up on his good leg -- he has a bootie on the other leg, but he is balancing much better.
Cooney also said the raptors using his claws to rip food apart -- a huge milestone for the eagle.
Lab results recently returned also show it doesn't have lead poisoning, which was a big relief for those caring for him.
However, the bird does have a bacterial infection and is being treated with antibiotics.
Right now, the main cause for concern is the eagle's wing, which may not be usable again. But after tremendous trauma, vets say the beloved bird is truly improving.
"My worry is that he might get arthritis in that shoulder joint and that elbow joint, and then be in pain for the rest of his life -- and that's not something that I want to see him go through," Cooney said Sunday. "But I'm optimistic -- we are going to give him six weeks at least to see if the paralysis goes away, and then judge how the wing heals at that time."
Donation drop boxes are set up at the Bend Vet Clinic and Sunriver Nature Center, if you'd like to help with the cost of medications or donate fish -- the eagle's favorite treat.
Veterinarians also are looking to name the bald eagle, and want the public's help deciding what to call him.
Leave a comment under this story with your idea for a name, and it just might be chosen as the new name for the recovering symbol of our nation.