Ozzie the Eagle injured, back at CROW
SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla.- Southwest Florida’s favorite bald eagle, Ozzie, is injured once again.
Staff at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) confirm Ozzie was taken in Sunday night with some cuts and broken toes. Veterinarians say some of his injuries are likely from fighting the other eagle spending time in the nest with Harriett.
CROW Director Dr. Heather Barron says, “he was pretty critical last night, his biggest problem now is his wounds are so old. He’s probably got bacteria in his blood so he’s septic and dealing with really bad infections, that’s our biggest problem now.”
Barron says she is worried about Ozzie’s ability to hunt on his own.
“That is the biggest potential issue that I see, he is already missing one claw, so he really needed all of his other claws to be fully functional so he can hunt appropriately and how well he’s able to use his remaining talons is going to be his limiting factor. We were very happy he was able to go three months in the wild without coming back, that means he was hunting successfully,” said Barron.
Barron adds she’s not surprised to see Ozzie back in the clinic’s care.
“Honestly I knew that would be his biggest test, when he had to go out and fight with other males. That’s what I always predicted, that he would go away for the summer, and when it came time to go back home and defend his territory and defend his mate, that we would see him again, I even said about mid-September, I think we’re likely to see Ozzie again and sure enough we did.”
She says Ozzie is lucky to have people looking out for him.
“This type of wound, it’s not so much the wound itself or the blood loss, it’s the level of infection and the fact that he was riddled with maggots. That would have been problematic if he hadn’t been found, but he’s on some good antibiotics and he’s getting good pain meds and I think he’ll probably do just fine.”
It is not clear yet how long Ozzie will need to stay in CROW’s care. This is his second stint at CROW this year. He was taken to the clinic back in March for a broken shoulder. Ozzie spent three months at CROW and was released back into the wild in June.
He wasn’t spotted back at his nest in North Fort Myers until last weekend. During that time, his mate, Harriett, seems to have been spending time with a new, younger male eagle. Some eagle-watchers even spotted Ozzie and the new eagle fighting last weekend.