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Why Coast workers could not save Warren the Eagle

Dr. Sarah Burke treated this eagle, dubbed Warren, Monday morning at Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Biloxi. Warren is now at LSU for evaluation of a fractured right wing.
Dr. Sarah Burke treated this eagle, dubbed Warren, Monday morning at Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Biloxi. Warren is now at LSU for evaluation of a fractured right wing. Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital

Everyone who came into contact with an eagle named Warren hoped the majestic raptor could be saved.

But it wasn’t possible. Warren had to be euthanized Monday afternoon at the LSU medical school because of multiple fractures to the right wing, said Missy Dubuisson, founder of Wild at Heart Rescue in Vancleave.

Employees of Warren Paving in Gulfport found the eagle when they arrived at work Monday morning.

“It's a beautiful creature,” said Warren dispatcher Clint Vancleave, who snapped a photo of the eagle huddled against a mountain of crushed limestone. “You could tell he was in a lot of distress. He was just standing there looking at us. He did not move.” Warren had his broken wing tucked in.

The workers called Wild at Heart in Vancleave. Doug Pojeky, the group’s president, caught the eagle. Group founder Missy Dubuisson named the eagle Warren, after the company, of course, but she was not sure of the raptor’s sex.

They took Warren to the Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Biloxi. Two weeks earlier, the hospital had treated Biloxi Belle, another raptor rescued by Wild at Heart.

Belle’s wounds were superficial and she is expected to recover. More than one bone in Warren’s wing was broken and the breaks were too high for Warren to balance after an amputation.

At the Biloxi hospital, Dr. Sarah Burke treated Warren with fluids under the skin and a pain killer while Dubuisson got clearance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take Warren across state lines to LSU.

A blanket was draped over Warren’s cage for the trip. Even so, Dubuisson said, more than 500 people followed the last leg of the trip live on Facebook. She noticed viewers from Portugal and Canada.

At LSU, Warren was also tested for metals, as are all raptors. Dubuisson thinks the eagle must have been injured five or six days ago because Warren appeared to have lost weight. The eagle weighed 7.5 pounds.

Warren is the sixth eagle Wild at Heart has rescued since the nonprofit was founded in 2012. Two of the birds have been released, Dubuisson said, while Warren is the second to die.

“Overall,” Dubuisson said, “euthanasia was in his best interest.”

Raptors are expensive to treat and keep, she said. Wild at Heart accepts donations through its website.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

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