An animal hospital in Florida received a call about a nesting Bald Eagle in Cape Coral suffering from a fish hook stuck in its mouth. An Instagram video shared by the Crow Clinic on Saturday details the event while also seeking to educate the public about how to prevent other animals from going through similar experiences.
"Thank you to photographer, Donna Lee for the initial photo of the eaglet which helped us identify the problem. Thank you to Joshua Tree Inc. and the City of Cape Coral as well as our incredible staff for executing the rescue, procedure, and care." the post reads, in part.
The accompanying video showcases the Crow Clinic's dedicated staff caring for the Eagle, detailing their efforts from start to finish, as well as noting that Joshua Tree Inc and the City of Cape Coral executed the leg work for rescuing this eagle from its nest.
Starting with Initial examinations, it was established that the female Eagle was thin, and had swallowed the hook; fortunately, no other abnormalities were present.
After removing the excess line, staff secured the remaining line for later hook removal. Using X-Rays to confirm the hook's location, they found that it hadn't traveled too far down in the Eagle's esophagus, and proceeded to administer pain and sleepy medication prior to moving her to their surgery suite for pre-surgery prep.
The Eagle's talons were then wrapped before intubating the bird to receive anesthesia and oxygen throughout the hook removal procedure. Additional preparation was taken to see exactly what they were working with by means of endoscopy.
Using the scope, they were able to locate the hook's position, which was found to be in a terrible spot. Dr. Kristie ended up making a small incision in the side of the neck, where she could then push the end tip of the hook through and remove the barb. Once removed, Dr. Melanie backed the hook up and out of the esophagus.
The video then shows a quick shot of the parts removed before going through the clean-up and post-procedure X-ray, blood work, and medication process. The video concludes with a call to viewers to follow for updates, as they plan to renest her as soon as possible.
Representatives with Crow Clinic hope that the video serves as a means of educating viewers of how to mind their fishing lines.
"Though this situation had the best possible outcome, it could have been much worse for this young eaglet. Now is as good a time as ever to remind everyone to Mind Your Line!" the video's caption reads, in part.
"Please never leave monofilament lines or hooks in the environment. If you accidentally snag an animal, please DO NOT cut the line. Reel them in and safely secure them before cutting the line (leave ~12”) then bring them to your nearest wildlife center."
The Crow Clinic is a teaching wildlife hospital and educational rehabilitation center located in Sanibel Florida. According to their website, their mission is dedicated to saving wildlife through state-of-the-art veterinary care, research, education, and conservation medicine.
In 2023, they've helped over 2,000 animal patients across 216 species and represented 53 universities with the help of 219 volunteers so far.
To learn more about The Crow Clinic and their mission, check out their website here. To watch the whole video detailing the eagle's treatment on Instagram, click here instead.
To learn more about how you can reduce the negative impacts of fishing gear on wildlife and the environment or to report monofilament lines found in your environment, The Crow Clinic urges readers to visit mindyourline.org.
Article by Rachael Volpe