By Alex Corradetti
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WDJT) – A beloved Bay View bald eagle showing symptoms of bird flu had to be humanely euthanized on Saturday, April 9, by the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Wildlife rescue rehabilitators were called to a Bay View neighborhood on Friday afternoon due to reports of a potentially injured or sick bald eagle in the front yard of a residence.
CBS 58 spoke with Tracey Blaszczyk, a Bay View resident who has been watching the eagle with her daughter for a few weeks.
“We had been watching the eagles for a little over a month now, there was a set, a male and a female and they were nesting,” Blaszczyk said.
During their daily observations, Blaszczyk says his daughter saw that the eagle had fallen from its nest.
“She saw the eagle sitting on the stairs, part of the neighbour’s house. We started calling DNR, Humane Society.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Humane Society arrived on the scene soon after. They took the eagle under their wing to tend to it, but despite their best efforts, its condition quickly declined. The Wisconsin Humane Society released the following statement on Saturday:
“According to the Wisconsin Humane Society, “Since her admission, we have provided supportive care, but despite our best efforts, her condition declined rapidly and she exhibited significant neurological issues. We have consulted vets and disease experts since his arrival and hoped to see signs of improvement today. Unfortunately, she had a severe seizure, went into acute respiratory distress, and could not be saved. She was humanely euthanized. Her symptoms were consistent with HPAI, highly pathogenic avian influenza, although we cannot confirm this was the cause of her illness until the test results come in, which will take several days. We know how passionately the Bay View community cared about the pair of bald eagles nesting in their neighborhood, and we can’t thank our entire community enough for your compassion. We appreciate the advice of our consultant veterinarian, many medical specialists and DNR officials, with whom we have worked closely on this highly transmissible virus. We mourn the loss of this eagle alongside our community. »
CBS 58 also spoke with Dr. Scott Ford, an avian specialist from Wisconsin, about bird flu. He says there are certain bird flu symptoms to look for in birds.
“Runny nose, runny eyes and they can breathe more laboredly and also neurological symptoms are part of that, which I think was the case with this bald eagle. For pet chicken owners, they may see a drop in egg production and possibly diarrhea.
Ford has his own pet chickens and is worried about how quickly bird flu is spreading. Ford says owners of pet chickens can contact their veterinarian or USDA APHIS if they’re concerned their birds may have bird flu.
“They picked up this Canada goose in Milwaukee and now this bald eagle. I’m sure there will be others too. It’s quite serious, it circulates.
The news shocked the people of Bay View, upset that such a majestic animal could be taken from this world so quickly.
“They are so beautiful to look at. Watching him get so sick and find out he’s passed away is so devastating. It’s not very often that we get a set of eagles in Milwaukee County, especially in someone’s front yard,” said a Bay View resident.
For now, the male eagle is alive. CBS 58 spotted the bird perched on a high branch of a tree about a block from where its mate fell from its nest. Experts advise everyone to avoid birds on the ground.
“Give them a wide birth and call the DNR and they’ll respond to it like they did with that bald eagle.”
The Humane Society is testing the female eagle for bird flu. They expect to have these results in the next few days. Avian specialists say to stay at least 300 feet away.
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