BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – One day after LSU women’s basketball took down Missouri, LSU women’s basketball Head Coach Kim Mulkey helped with the release of a rehabilitated bald eagle. The plan was for Mulkey to open the cage so the eagle could fly away.

Bunnie Cannon, senior director of outreach at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, contacted Mulkey and asked if she would like to attend on Friday, Jan. 13.

The release would not have happened without the efforts of Dr. Mark Mitchell. Mitchell is a professor of zoological medicine at LSU.

Interns, residents, veterinary technicians and veterinary students also assisted during the rehabilitation process. Care was provided for the injured bald eagle at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Wildlife Hospital.

According to Ginger Guttner, communications manager for the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, the bald eagle was brought to the vet school on November 29 and was unable to fly.

Guttner said the eagle appeared “to have injuries consistent with being involved in combat with another eagle.” As part of the rehabilitation process, one of the bald eagle’s toes was amputated. The eagle received fluids, analgesics for pain control, antibiotics and surgery, according to Guttner.

Guttner says the vet school sees between 10 and 15 bald eagles every year. Around 40% of them are rehabilitated and many of them arrive with gunshot wounds. Some of the animals that the vet school rehabilitates include owls, hawks, possums and turtles. Guttner said that the animals they receive are usually brought to them by good samaritans and state or federal agencies.