Black Vulture with Broken Leg and a Surprise Inside

The Center for Birds of Prey called us regarding a black vulture with a broken leg. We brought him in and took a radiograph and discovered that in addition to his fracture, he had at some point eaten carrion that had been previously shot and had a lead pellet in it, which remained inside the vulture and posed a threat to his health.
BLVU lead pellet
Dr. Biascoechea skillfully removed the pellet and set the leg using stainless steel pins.
BLVU pellet removed
Postsurgical radiographs show the nicely set leg and the now empty space where the pellet was removed.
BLVU post op
Vultures are an important part of the natural world, helping dispose of carrion that could otherwise spread disease and dangerous bacteria. Think before you shoot, because your pellets may end up places you never imagined.