Rescued Md. osprey dies suddenly of extreme exertion and stress

A raptor rescued Aug. 10 in Anne Arundel County died. (Courtesy Donna Cole)

An osprey rescued by U.S. Naval Academy’s “Fighting 46” fire department Saturday died early Tuesday.

The fledgling, female osprey had been tangled on a tree with fishing wire on Greenbury Point along the Severn River in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County. It’s believed it was just learning to fly when it ended up entangled.

Initially, the Boyds, Maryland-based Owl Moon Raptor Center, where the bird of prey was taken to recover, thought the bird’s prognosis was good. The bird had wounds on her wings and left leg.

“Initially, she just presented with what looked like just the wounds, which were manageable,” said Suzanne Shoemaker, director of the Owl Moon Raptor Center. “They were significant, but they were manageable, and we had hopes then that she would respond to treatment and we could heal the wounds.”

The ausprey’s symptoms indicated that it suffered from a condition called capture myopathy. It occurs, the center said on its Facebook page, “as a result of extreme exertion, struggle, or stress. … Severe muscle damage results from a build-up of lactic acid, which in turn causes elevated respiratory, heart rate, and body temperature, and ultimately death.”

“It’s not something we see very often,” Shoemaker told WTOP. “But in this case, it appears that’s what happened. … That’s the kind of symptoms we saw.”

The osprey’s entanglement and rescue captured the attention of an entire community.

It took a team of 12 people, including volunteers and firefighters, two hours to rescue the bird after someone spotted it in a tree.

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