Bald eagle recovers after being found near death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bald eagle recovers after being found near death

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Memphis is home to many hidden gems, but a rehab for eagles may be one of the city's best kept secrets.

Rescuers recently found a malnourished and seriously injured eagle in Henry Country. He has been recovering in Memphis ever since.

Instead of soaring the skies with pride, the bald eagle—the symbol for American freedom—is grounded until he regains his strength.

Knox Martin, director of the Mid-South Raptor Center, shared that his team is treating the eagle for a serious viral infection.

Martin says that rescuers found the bird stranded, and near death, on a sand bar in northwest Tennessee.

“[The eagle] couldn’t fly, very emaciated, starving.”

The eagle is now able to fly short distances and is doing much better.

“Nothing was broken. It actually did have a shotgun pellet in it, but that was not the main reason for the problem,” Martin said.

Known as the "raptor rescuer," Knox Martin has been studying and rescuing birds since 1986. He has been working at the Mid-South Raptor Center in the Shelby Farms area since 2003.

Private donors support and fund the non-profit organization. The center releases birds like the bald eagle back into the wild, where strict laws are in place for its protection.

Anyone who injures a bald eagle could face severe fines of up to $200,000 if caught, as well as jail time.

Martin says his group rescues about 200 birds each year. He believes that together we can all help restore our national symbol in Tennessee and across America by learning about their needs and the threats they face.

“With the endangered species act, bald eagle numbers have really increased,” Martin commented.

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