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MU Raptor Rehabilitation Project
Will Return Bald Eagle to the Wild

The University of Missouri Raptor Rehabilitation Project will release a mature bald eagle named “Dysprosium” back into the wild at 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, following seven months of medical and surgical rehabilitation. The event will take place at the Swim and Tennis Cove at the Village of Four Seasons at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Dysprosium was found down at the Lake of the Ozarks in January by an astute member of the community who noticed that the eagle could not fly normally. He was then brought to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of Missouri by a Conservation Department agent. He was severely anemic and very thin. He had two fractured bones at the tip of his left wing, called the major metacarpal and minor metacarpal. These bones were already healing, so they did not require surgery. He was treated for the anemia and started gaining weight. He was recovering well, when an infection developed in his healing bones. As a result, he had to have surgery to remove the infected pieces of bone. After he recovered from surgery, he was moved to a flight cage, where he has been regaining strength and flying ability.

When the eagle was brought in, the project’s current naming theme was elements of the periodic table. The unusual name comes from element 66, a very rare type of metal. The Raptor Rehabilitation Project will sell chances for the opportunity for one lucky person to release Dysprosium! Tickets are $1 each, or seven for $5.

The Raptor Project is a nonprofit organization and all money raised will be used to care for injured birds, as well as provide ongoing care for the organization’s nine resident birds that cannot be returned to the wild. The project educates the public about birds of prey, combining natural history and species information with personal experience to deliver educational programs throughout mid-Missouri. The project also gives veterinary students, community members, and other students the opportunity to work hands-on with professional veterinary medical faculty and cutting-edge technology to rehabilitate and release injured or ill birds. The College of Veterinary Medicine provides the vital financial support for medical care, housing and food for these majestic creatures, and project funds are supplemented by private donations.

This event is free and open to the public. The Raptor Rehabilitation Project encourages community members and students to volunteer for opportunities, including helping to feed and care for birds of prey, as well as participating in its educational programs. More information is available online at:

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College of Veterinary Medicine
W-203 Veterinary Medicine Building
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: (573) 882-3554
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Last Update: February 29, 2012