MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – A Mid-South bald eagle is back on the road to recovery, but the battle to find his shooter isn't over yet.
The eagle named Abe just got out of a complicated four hour surgery to repair a shattered leg and severely broken wing. He is recovering at Memphis veterinary specialist in Cordova.
"It just took a lot longer than we thought. There were a lot of pieces to put back together, but it went well," said veterinarian Dr. David Hannon.
Photos of the surgery give you an idea of how complicated it was. Abe, of course, had to be put under. Then the areas for surgery had to be plucked.
"These are just major bones in a very large bird what happens when the bone break the muscle contracts pretty heavily so we to fight against that," Dr. Hannon said.
Abe was discovered by a motorist on the side of the road in Hardeman County. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers say someone shot him likely as he was in flight.
It is a federal offense to shoot an eagle. Wildlife officers say they do have some leads in this case that has a 75 hundred dollar reward.
Abe could even go back into the wild.
"He'll be here for a few more days to a week then he'll go out to the raptor center," said Dr. Hannon.
Abe will stay here and recover for a few more days then go to the raptor center at Shelby Farms. If he recovers enough, he could be released into the wild.