BEND, Ore. - He?s still not out of the woods, so to speak, but a badly injured bald eagle is still recovering well, a Bend veterinarian said Friday ? despite a scare two days ago in which he had to perform mouth-to-beak CPR on the raptor, newly named ?Patriot.?
Two La Pine women found the bald eagle, apparently hit by a car, near Crane Prairie Reservoir last month. Three weeks later, about halfway through a hoped-for recovery period, the bird?s fractured wing is healing, as is his dislocated elbow and wrist, said Dr. Jeff Cooney of Bend Veterinary Clinic.
After a contest in which NewsChannel 21 assisted, the eagle has been named Patriot ? quite fitting for America?s national symbol. More than 20 names were submitted, from ?Spirit? to ?Bend Franklin,? and while it was close, ?Patriot? received the highest number of votes, Cooney said.
?He has gained 10 percent of his body weight and is eating fish like crazy,? Cooney said Friday. ?His attitude is greatly improved, and he?s starting to act like a normal, rambunctious bald eagle.?
But there are still worrisome signs.
?The dislocated shoulder and his paralyzed right leg are his major problems right now,? Cooney said.
Then there was the frightening moment during Wednesday?s exam and physical therapy when, under anesthesia, Patriot stopped breathing.
Cooney stepped in and performed ?mouth to beak? resuscitation to get the bird breathing again.
Still, at this point, Cooney says he?s not sure Patriot will ever be able to return to the wild.
And if he?s unable to fully recovery, Cooney said they could be forced to euthanize him, rather than continue living in pain.
?I kind of like the guy,? the vet said. ?If he could get his foot back, a little better,? the odds would improve markedly, thus a protective blue ?bootie? that completed a red, white and blue outfit, only fitting.
But ?his shoulder is really badly damaged,? Cooney said. ?It?s not a surgical repair, so if he was going to live forever in pain from the shoulder injury, I?d have to euthanize him.?
The next three weeks should tell the tale.
?If he could live, any facility (for raptors) would like to have him,? Cooney said. ?He was just hurt so bad.?