Feds order to euthanize a golden eagle missing a foot receives swift backlash and criticism

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In Monroe County, Pennsylvania, the federal government ordered an animal rescue to euthanize a golden eagle missing a foot on Wednesday. The bird had been recovering at the Wilderz at Pocono Wildlife after being discovered on someone’s property near Dushore in Sullivan County.

It had been a month ago when the bird was found; she had been missing a foot. Otherwise, she seemed fine. When examined, the missing foot area had already healed, and there was no infection or necrosis. It is suspected the bird encountered the injury more than a year ago, and she was doing just fine.


The way the bone healed, it doesn’t show any signs of him being in pain. They palpated it. We took x-rays here. They re-ran x-rays there, at Dublin Veterinary Hospital, with Dr. Adrienne Breaux, and no wing injuries whatsoever. No head trauma, so I think it was just a little bit of desperation as far as scavenging for food. I think that’s also why his talons are worn down.”

Janine Tancredi, the center’s executive director.

None of the veterinarians involved in the eagle’s care thought the bird should be euthanized and had hoped the center would be able to procure a prosthetic leg, obtain a special license and keep the bird for its education center.

On Wednesday, the director of the Wilderz at Pocono Wildlife posted on social media that federal officials had ordered the eagle to be euthanized. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cites a regulation that requires a migratory bird to be killed if it can’t perch or walk without hurting itself or if the animal requires amputation of a foot. It didn’t matter to them the eagle had been missing its foot before it ever arrived at the rescue.

Had the rescue not complied, they could have lost their license.

Aura lived in the wild like this for over a year on her own. She was very happy and getting all the help she needed. They even had a prosthetic leg that was on the way for her. There was no need for her to be put down.


This eagle’s case was unique. The eagle had a calm temperament, was in no pain and had already survived in the wild while she was recuperating on her own. In addition, she was able to perch on her stump and was ambulatory. She didn’t have to be be killed.

R.I.P. Aura ,

Aura was laid to rest at 8:42 pm Thursday night.

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  1. Disgusting and heartbreaking……. I am not a bird of prey fan but I can’t understand why this bird had to die. She could have done much more good had she been allowed to live in the sanctuary for educational purposes.

    I think that some individuals are “bullies with badges”……. They have the power to push others around and they do it because they have the power. It makes me sick……


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