“Abe” The Bald Eagle Dies After Being Shot

(Memphis) We have sad news to report on the bald eagle found shot this month in Hardeman County.

“Abe” died this weekend at the Mid-South Raptor Center in east Memphis.

The eagle had undergone a four hour surgery to repair a broken leg and shattered wing, and was going through rehab at the Raptor Center.

So far, no one has been charged with shooting the eagle, a fact that makes the bird’s death even harder to take.

Knox Martin, director of the Mid-South Raptor Center, says he’s disappointed but not surprised by the bald eagle’s death, “The whole time he was here he never really improved. He just didn’t get any better. On Saturday when we came in to treat him, he was gone.”

We introduced you to “Abe”  after he was found shot in Hardeman County.

“Abe” underwent an invasive four and half hour surgery to repair a broken leg and shattered wing.

It was hoped the majestic bird might recover, but Knox Martin said the stress was just too much for “Abe” to overcome, “They normally start showing improvement fairly soon. And this bird, from the day it came in, to the day it died, never improved.”

Martin says age is another factor in successful rehab.

For instance, a young eagle was recently found in Stewart County Tennessee shot in the wing, just like “Abe.”

But it’s improved dramatically and will soon be released back into the wild.

Monday, naturalist David Haggard drove from Reelfoot State Park to pick up the eagle.

Haggard says this bird’s “story of survival”  does little to erase the anger over “Abe’s” death, “It’s not like you mistake them for something else, you know. It’s an intentional act when they’re shot. So for those of us in the field, yea, in the career,  it’s very upsetting to have an eagle shot.”

Doctor David Hannon at Memphis Veterinary Specialists in Cordova, said a post mortem will be performed on the eagle to determine the exact cause of death.

No one has been charged so far with shooting the eagle while it was flying over Hardeman County.

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