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Release: Nov. 28, 2000

Macbride Raptor Project to release bald eagle

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A one-year-old bald eagle will be returned to the wild Friday following treatment at the Macbride Raptor Project for injuries suffered from an apparent shotgun blast.

Raptor Project Director Jodeane Cancilla will release the eagle at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1 (weather pending) at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area, Bluestem Shelter, located off County Road F28, one mile north of Mehaffey Bridge Road.

Found Oct. 15 near Green Castle Avenue in north central Johnson County, the eagle suffered severe bruising to its left wing, a chipped bone in the left leg and four pellets in its abdomen.

Cancilla said the eagle was x-rayed to survey the injuries and given antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection. After 10 days of intensive care, the bird was placed inside the center's 100-foot flight cage and monitored as it became acclimated to colder temperatures.

No information has come forward as to who may have shot the eagle, possibly a hunter at the start of duck season, Cancilla said. Anyone with information about the shooting should contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-(800) 532-2020 or local DNR officer Susan Hager at (319) 330-9710.

The Iowa DNR has established a $1,000 reward for information about how the eagle was shot; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also offering a $2,500 reward.

The Macbride Raptor Project, co-sponsored by the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College, helps rehabilitate sick and injured birds, conducts educational programs for the public, and does field research of Iowa's native raptors.

For further information, contact Jodeane Cancilla at (319) 398-5495.