Eagle still on the mend

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Paul Strasser of the Red Wolf Sanctuary calls her “Maddie” – and as the eagle that was struck by a car last week along River Road continues to mend, people all over the area are waiting on word of her recovery.

“I’ve been calling her ‘Maddie’ because of ‘Madison’,” Paul Strasser said this week. “She’s not been eating and not been able to keep solid foods down, so we’ve been having to force feed her. She’s a magnificent bird.”

Maddie’s problems began on Sunday, February 17th, when she was hit by a vehicle while she swooped back down to the River Road to retrieve a squirrel that she had captured but dropped.

Indiana Conservation Officer Steve Kinne was called to the scene by passing motorists, and he took the bird to the Red Wolf Sanctuary near Farmer’s Retreat, where Paul Strasser has been nursing the eagle back to health ever since.

Although tests revealed no broken bones, Paul Strasser was immediately concerned about internal injuries to the bird; and her problems eating may confirm some of those injuries.

Paul Strasser said that he and assistant Monica Steinbis have been force feeding Maddie using feeding tubes. He said that right now she is on a liquid diet that is being shot down into her stomach.

“Today we started her on some solids,” Paul Strasser said on Tuesday. “We’re hoping that she will be able to keep them down. As soon as she’s holding down the solids, we’ll start her on antibiotics, but right now she’s not keeping solid food down.”

Paul Strasser said that Maddie’s legs are still not responding to treatment and rest, and that she is on steroid injections and vitamin injections in an effort to get her back up on her feet.

“We have been exercising her talons daily by pulling them apart and trying to flex her muscles,” Paul Strasser said. “She’ll let us know when she’s getting stronger because she’ll probably nail one of us with a claw.”

Because of the stress that Maddie has been through and continues to go through while recuperating, those attending her have no timetable as to when - or if – she might fully recover.

“Right now she’s still in a hospital cage under a heat lamp,” Paul Strasser said. “It’s labor intensive, and it takes a couple of people to feed her and take care of her. It’s stressful for her, but she’s got to keep hydrated.

“We’ll leave her alone and let time heal her.”