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Prospects not good for rescued eagle

Tuesday - 2/28/2012, 7:26am  ET

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Doctors will determine in the next few days whether the eagle can be saved. (Courtesy WMATA)

WASHINGTON - Prospects are not good for the injured bald eagle recovered on Metro's Blue Line tracks near the Van Dorn Metro station.

One third of the adult female eagle's left wing has been sheared off.

The eagle was picked up near the Metro station this weekend. It's not clear whether a train, a car or even a plane caused the injury.

It is being treated at the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, where Kent Knowles says the eagle's outlook is not encouraging.

"It's a bad problem. You can't make wings regrow," he says. "In a human, it would be like ripping off the hand at the wrist. You can't fix it.

Surgeons will determine the coming days whether the bird can be saved. Knowles says the injury will keep the bird from returning to the wild.

"The bird minus a good portion of one wing couldn't survive in the wild more than a very short period of time," he says. "It would be irresponsible to think about releasing it."

Bald eagles are no longer an endangered species. There are an estimated 440 active nests in the Chesapeake Bay region.

The bald eagle is the national symbol adopted by Congress in 1782.

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WTOP's Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)