Eaglet undergoes operation to repair beak

July 13, 2008 at 4:12 PM
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WAYNESBORO, Va., July 13 (UPI) -- An eaglet at the Wildlife Center of Virginia has undergone a successful operation to repair its misshapen beak, the center's president says.

Center President Ed Clark said a group of veterinarians were able to trim the 3-month-old eagle's deformed upper beak and anchor it to the animal's lower jaw, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday.

Clark said the medical team connected the two parts of the baby eagle's beak by creating a brace out of wires and medical acrylic.

"While the device looks pretty strange sticking up beside the eaglet's beak, it is certainly no worse than the original growth must have been," he said of Saturday's procedure.

The operation was made necessary since the bird's upper beak was so damaged by a growth that it could not feed itself.

Clark told The Virginian-Pilot it remained to be seen if the bird's newly altered beak will allow it eat enough to be released into the wild.

"It is too soon to tell whether this little bird will ever go back to the wild, but for the first time we can begin to speculate about its long-term future," Clark said.

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