Bald Eagle to undergo surgery after being hit by car in Va. Beach

HK, an eagle born at Norfolk Botanical Garden in 2009, was hit by a car recently and will undergo surgery.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Wildlife officials have released an update Monday on a bald eagle known as "HK" that was hit by a car in Virginia Beach last week.

HK was hit on South Independence Blvd. right at the entrance of the Honey Bee Golf Course where he was nesting.

The driver who hit him called Animal Control following the incident.

According to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, HK was taken to a local veterinarian who stabilized him prior to transporting him to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on Friday.

The wildlife rehabilitation team found blood in the eagle's mouth, indicating internal trauma. The eagle's right tarsometatarsus has also been fractured near the hock joint.

Officials say HK stayed bright and alert over the weekend, and ate all on his own. He will have to undergo surgery for his fracture on Sept. 5. 

We're told pins will be inserted through both sides of the eagle's leg, both above and below the fracture.

An external fixation pin will then be held in place by the pins in the eagle's leg, which will offer stability and support while he's healing from his injuries.

He was given fluids, anti-inflammatory medication, and pain medication.

Also known as "bald eagle #17-2257," HK hatched in 2009, and has been nesting at the Honey Bee Golf Course in Virginia Beach. 

Wildlife expert Reese Lukei has been studying bald eagles in the Tidewater region since 1989. He said this is the first time a bald eagle has been hit by a car, but there have been other accidents. 

"We have had a couple that have been hit at the airport -- the Norfolk International Airport -- including HK's mother who was hit by a plane and died in 2011," he said. 

Four years later HK's sister died after she flew into power lines, snapping her neck. 

It will take about eight to 12 weeks for HK's wounds to heal. Once healing takes place, HK will be reconditioned at the Wildlife Center before he is released back into the wild. 

Click here to learn more about HK's condition.

Click here for more information on HK.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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