When 17 year old Klaudia Douglas began her early morning farm duties on her family’s property near the Tuross River in NSW, she was greeted by a rare sight – a massive wedge-tailed eagle with a broken leg.
Seeing the bird obviously in distress, Klaudia quickly called for help. Despite her own fear of birds, she was devastated* to see one of their local family of eagles hurt.
“He was struggling, flapping around and trying to fly – it freaked me out a little because he was the size of my kelpie,” she said.
“I’m seriously not a bird person, I can do cows that weigh nearly a tonne but won’t go near a bird, I won’t even go near chooks.”
“Straightaway I rang my mum. I couldn’t leave him there – I felt really bad for him because he was all wet and cold”.
Since the eagle, now named Tuross, was living in a nest on Klaudia’s farm he was trusting of the teenager, but as soon as the rescuers from Wildlife Rescue South Coast arrived he mustered* up all of his energy to give them a good chase, wary* of the new people.
Rescuer Amara Mohan immediately noticed the massive eagle had broken his leg, and after three hours of struggling he was finally captured* and eventually taken to Sydney’s Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) for a tricky operation.
A pin and plate were put in his left leg, a delicate* operation on such a small tibia bone.
Wedge-tailed eagle with broken leg rescued
Ms Mohan said that after the exhausting surgery, Tuross is healing well at Raptor* Recovery Australia.
“He is really bright and alert, he’s using his leg and putting more weight on it now,” Ms Mohan said.
Klaudia hopes all going well, Tuross can be returned to her family’s property.
“I’ve done a lot of strange things on the farm – chasing around a wedge-tailed eagle is one of the weirdest, but we’d love to see him back,” she said.
- mustered: gathered, rallied, summonsed
- wary: unsure, cautious, alert, guarded
- captured: caught, seized, held
- delicate: fragile, frail, breakable, fine
- raptor: a bird of prey
- Why was the eagle named Tuross by his rescuers?
- Why did Tuross seem to trust Klaudia, the teenager who found him injured?
- How long did Tuross evade capture once Wildlife Rescue
- What does SASH stand for?
- Tuross broke which bone in which leg?
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1. Perspective of an eagle
Write a brief newspaper report about this event from the perspective of Tuross, the wedge-tailed eagle. You can create the narrative of where he came from, how he broke his leg, what he thought of his rescuers and how his recovery is going.
Be as imaginative and creative as you like to make an interesting story.
Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English
Work with a partner and write all the things you know about wedge-tailed eagles.
Have you seen one before? What makes them special?
Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Science; Personal and Social
What happens next?
Imagine this story becomes part of an animated series made up of three cartoons. The three cartoons tell the complete story and this article is only Part 1. Think about what the rest of the story could be and draw the next two cartoons that tell the story.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Visual Arts; Visual Communication Design; Critical and Creative Thinking