Injured bald eagle in Florida being treated by wildlife rescue, veterinary hospital

A Brevard County veterinary hospital has teamed up with wildlife rescuers to save an injured bald eagle.

Freedom, an American Bald Eagle, was named on President’s Day after being brought to Eau Gallie Veterinary Hospital.

The bald eagle, estimated to be around three years old, was taken in by Wild Florida Rescue after being found injured in a church parking lot.

"He gets medicated orally twice a day with medications, and then the topical flushing and topical meds, four times a day," said Gemma Millar, veterinary nurse.

Millar and Eau Gallie Veterinary Hospital staff are now working to treat his ruptured abscess. She said the goal is to keep the infection from spreading to his bones, but Freedom’s future is uncertain. 

According to Millar, the best-case scenario is that Freedom eventually recovers and is released back into the wild. The worst case, she said, is that he does not make it. There is also a possibility that if an infection does spread to his bones, he could undergo a wing amputation and live out his remaining years at a rescue.

"The good thing is, he’s fighting, so we’re going to carry on," Millar said.


Freedom’s survival is crucial following last year’s avian flu outbreak. The disease devastated the species, said Heather Pepe, co-founder and COO of Wild Florida Rescue.

"It’s a huge collaboration to save his life, and the good news is everybody’s on board," Pepe said.

A powerful beak and sharp talons make treatment difficult. Protective state and federal laws are also coming into play, Pepe said.

"It’s illegal to even have an eagle feather in your possession," said Pepe. "You have to have the appropriate rehabber that has permits to do them; then the vets are all aware of what the laws are, what you can and can’t do. You have to have permissions, approvals, this-that, and the other."

The cost is also a contributing factor. Medications, procedures, food, and veterinary care have already amounted to tens of thousands of dollars, and Freedom’s long road to recovery is estimated to take between three and five months.

"We’re doing everything we can to try to help him and save his life," said Millar.

As Freedom’s recovery progresses, he’ll be moved into larger habitats suitable for his treatment and rehabilitation.

For more information about Wild Florida Rescue and to donate to Freedom’s recovery fund, visit this website.