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1920 Fitch Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

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  Home > Educate and Learn > Meet Our Birds > Bald Eagle: Leuc
 

Bald Eagle: Leuc

 Ed Bird Leuc

Quick Facts:

  • Hatch year 1980
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Found in Hayward, Wis.
  • Vehicle collision
  • Un-releasable due to right shoulder injury
  • Male
  • No flight capability

Leuc’s story:

Leuc was found in Hayward, Wis., alongside a highway with an injured right wing. A veterinarian in Hayward received the bird and cared for him for a few months, but it became apparent that his wing was not healing normally. The eagle was admitted to The Raptor Center on August 31, 1983. A physical exam and x-rays revealed that his right shoulder joint had been severely injured and had healed in a way that limited the wing’s range of movement. Unfortunately, Leuc would never fly again. He was transferred to the education department and named “Leuc” in reference to the bald eagle’s scientific name, Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Leuc was a very popular ambassador bird and frequently traveled to offsite programs. A news article from the late 1990s describes him as The Raptor Center’s most-photographed eagle. Unfortunately, in March 1999, Leuc started showing signs of lameness. An x-ray revealed a small lump in the flexor tendon, above the left hock joint. Despite being taken off display for a number of weeks, there were no signs of improvement, so on May 4, Leuc underwent surgery in which a pea-sized mass was removed. The mass was part of a “fibrosarcoma,” or cancerous tumor. Surgery to remove the tumor would cause permanent lameness. Radiation was the best option. Although there was little known about cancer treatment in raptors, Leuc’s treatment was successful and subsequent radiographs showed the mass was gone. Leuc is retired from programs now, but continues to educate in his new home—his display mew—in the lobby of The Raptor Center.


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