I was amazed when I got a call last Friday about a golden eagle with a broken wing down near Lovell. I met James Hobbs, the WGF warden near Garland for the handoff and found out it was not a golden but a baby bald eagle. And the most astounding thing was which baby bald eagle. It's PRISCILLA, the one I released back on January 12th about three miles from where she was just found.
PRISCILLA is the one that had the very high mercury count altho we never found out the cause and why she wasn't dead from it. If you remember, she was originally found about 20 miles out the Southfork Road on Thanksgiving Day. Because she was in excellent condition and was flying very strong I made the decision to release her. That went well and it's on a video.
She also has/had a very large growth on the bottom of her right foot. I say had because today she underwent surgery to remove whatever it is. Both her blood and the tumor are on their way to the state lab for testing. Because the chance of ever getting a bird back to repeat a test is unheard of I'm having her blood tested for mercury.
Now it's a matter of time to see if her foot heals enough for re-release. The mercury level may determine her outcome.
NOTE: The results of her mercury test show that the level has gone down by half but is still high. She is also not eating nearly as much as I would like, possibly because she doesn't like having her foot bandaged. Mercury poisoning affects the brain which is what I think has happened to PRISCILLA. Because of that I've made the decision to NOT release her back to the wild. Now it becomes a question of whether she improves enough to live.