Featherhead – The Verreaux’s Eagle
Early February 2021, our clinic was visited by Ronelle Visagie, from the Endangered Wildlife Trust, with an ill Verreaux’s Eagle. She had driven all the way to De Aar to fetch the injured bird.
After having taken radiographs, we had found no broken bones, but the eagle could not open it’s right foot or stand upright. In order to stop further contraction of the foot, we wrapped it around a rather large tennis ball!
After 2 days, Ronel had removed the ball and the claw stayed open. The eagle was still very weak and lame in that limb. She was confined to cage rest for 4 weeks, where after she was placed in a larger aviary to see if she would be able to fly. After only a week, she was doing so well that she could be released!
The Great Release
She was released on the same farm she was rescued and was taken to the spot where she was found. She’s the female of a breeding pair. In that time they had started building nests for the new breeding season. She took off quite strongly and after a rather long flight successfully perched on a nearby hill. There she found her mate patiently waiting for her.
The children of the couple who rescued this gorgeous bird named her Featherhead and both were present for her release, an experience that they will always remember.
Featherhead has since been tracked vast distances and is doing very well since her release.
A huge thank you to Ronelle from EWT for dedicating her time to the spectacular raptors of our beautiful country, as well as to the amazing people of the community who had taken the time to help this injured eagle.
For more on the Verreaux’s Eagle, check out the Animalia website: https://animalia.bio/verreauxs-eagle