Abe the bald eagle succumbs to shotgun injuries after a 4-hour operation to save him

  • America’s national bird found with a shattered leg and broken wing can’t pull through
  • $7,500 reward offered for information on a federal offense

By Daily Mail Reporter

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After an adult bald eagle was found with extensive injuries by the side of the road in Hardeman County, Tennessee, he was rushed to the veterinary offices of Dr David Hannon.

Dr Hannon named the bird Abe after Abraham Lincoln. Then the real work started. The eagle required hours of complicated surgery. Abe survived the operation and was taken to a rehabilitation facility. Unfortunately, caregivers found him dead over the weekend.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers said it appeared that the bird had been shot in mid-flight. Abe had several pellets lodged in the right side of his body, while his wing and leg were badly broken.

Abe is sedated during the 4-hour operation that was required after being shot in Tennessee. The bald eagle died this weekend.

Abe is sedated during the 4-hour operation that was required after being shot in Tennessee. The bald eagle died this weekend.

The eagle was sedated and the affected areas plucked, before the bird’s bone and muscle was worked on. Dr Hannon told Wmctv.com about the complex procedure: 'These are just major bones in a very large bird. What happens when the bone breaks is the muscle contracts pretty heavily so we to fight against that.'

 

Following the successful operation, Abe was taken to the Mid-South Raptor Center in Memphis for recovery. Yet, as director Knox Martin explained, the injuries were just too much: 'It never showed any real improvement, it never ate on its own, it never really stood up or perched.'

Those involved in the attempts to save Abe have reacted with anger. Dr Hannon said: 'Some idiot with a shotgun blew it out of the sky. That's just appalling there are people who would do that.'

The bald eagle is central to many religious and spiritual customs among Native Americans. Abe’s body has now been sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Eagle Repository in Colorado, where his feathers and claws will be sent out to individuals and tribes who have requested them for ceremonial purposes.

The operation on America's national bird was successful but Abe didn't survive the recovery period. There is a $7,500 reward out for information on the shooting.

The operation on America's national bird was successful but Abe didn't survive the recovery period. There is a $7,500 reward out for information on the shooting.

It is a federal offense to shoot an eagle and a $7,500 reward has been offered for information on this incident.

The bird became a national emblem  in 1782, when the great seal of the United States was adopted. The seal features a wide-spread bald eagle carrying a scroll in its beak inscribed with the motto ‘E Pluribus Unum’, translated from Latin as ‘Out of many, one’.

Not everyone has always agreed on the honor of the bald eagle. Benjamin Franklin famously disdained its ‘bad moral character’, believing that the bird of prey was by ‘no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest... of America... The turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird.'

Yet the national bird is a hugely popular symbol. Indeed, another famous bald eagle, also named after Abraham Lincoln, was a civil war icon known as Old Abe. Old Abe was the mascot of the 8th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and now appears on the insignia of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

What's happened to the DM readership? Two or three weeks ago, that would have been green-arrowed like crazy. Have you all been replaced by Pod People from Mars, or did your dear leaders just put something in your water to make you more liberal?

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Highly symbolic, coming right after the election. A rather fitting metaphor for what's happened to this country.

Click to rate     Rating   10

RIP, what a wicked generation.

Click to rate     Rating   23

I hope they catch these low life creeps.

Click to rate     Rating   27

I think the fine is $10,000 for shooting an Eagle, but I may be wrong. $7,500 reward is not enough...turn yourself in punk!

Click to rate     Rating   18

Hope the bird heals. Birds of prey always impress me, although we get few like that down here. And yes, it is terrible to shoot birds like that, but from local stories, it is usually an old man or woman protecting her/his chickens. Not some sadistic killer.

Click to rate     Rating   42

horrible waste of a beautiful creature

Click to rate     Rating   60

What kind of twerp would shoot an eagle like that. The reward for information is probably the smaller amount. The penalty might be the larger amount.

Click to rate     Rating   46

$75,000 or $7,500 reward? There's a big diffrence there

Click to rate     Rating   25

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