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Rehabilitated bald eagle to be released in Virginia on Election Day

The bald eagle was rescued back in August after being found in Suffolk. Wildlife officials think it got caught up in a fight with another eagle.
Credit: Wildlife Center of Virginia

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A bald eagle that was rescued in Suffolk back in August will finally be released after being fully rehabilitated by the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Wildlife officials plan to release the adult eagle in Portsmouth on Nov. 3 which is Election Day.

Someone found the eagle on August 15. It was on the ground and unable to fly away. Officials say it suffered injuries that appeared to be from a fight with another eagle.

A veterinary intern at the Wildlife Center of Virginia found that the bird suffered many bruises as well as a puncture wound to its right shoulder. Maggots had infested the wound leading to the eagle's poor condition. Vets believed the bird may have been grounded for a while.

After cleaning and disinfecting the wound, the veterinary team monitored the eagle daily while giving it supportive care. Even though the bird's wound had remained infection-free, it wasn't closing on its own.

A doctor performed surgery to speed up the healing process. The eagle was kept at the wildlife center for a few months where it underwent consistent exercise and conditioning to prepare for its release. Learn more about the eagle's progress and recovery process here.

In the months since the bird has been with the center, its overall performance continued to improve and its injury fully healed.

Wildlife officials plan to release the eagle at Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve Tuesday morning in Portsmouth.

The release won't be open to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.