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Seattle Seahawks live mascot receives treatment at Washington State University
Taima will be ready for the 2024 season after having a growth removed from his foot
Washington State University’s Veterinary Hospital announced that Taima, an augur hawk and live mascot for the Seattle Seahawks, has been declared healthy after a short procedure. The Augur hawk was brought to the hospital in early March 2023 after a jelly-bean-sized mass was discovered on his left foot.
According to a university release,1 the mass was discovered on Taima’s foot and sent for testing at the WSU’s Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. There, it was determined an inflammatory response to a small foreign body which could have been a small splinter or thorn caused the mass.
“We definitely had to consider the possibility of cancerous-type growths because of his age,” said Marcie Logsdon, DVM, falconer, and exotics veterinarian at WSU’s teaching hospital. “Fortunately, the initial diagnostics came back as a granuloma, which is an inflammatory response to something like a small foreign body.”1
Logsdon and her team obtained an x-ray and a small sample of the tissue of the mass in order to understand what caused the growth and if any bony structures were affected by it. The team eventually decided to remove the mass, even though, they believed it was benign. A small incision and 2 sutures were made on the side of the foot to remove the mass. The team provided special care to ensure no tendons or nerves were damaged, which could have complicated his recovery and his mobility.
“It did not appear to be causing any discomfort, but it was starting to get bigger and since it was on his foot, that’s a really sensitive spot for raptors,” Logsdon said. “We’re pretty lucky it was on the side of his foot because if it moved down or had grown bigger that could have put pressure on the bottom of the foot and resulted in some really serious issues.”1
David Knutson, Taima’s owner and master falconer, said Taima had a short break from training, but his recovery has gone smoother, and he has since resumed normal activities.
“His surgery went very, very well, and fortunately the mass was not cancerous,” Logsdon said. “He should be all ready to go for the season opener and another Super Bowl run for the Seahawks.”1
Seahawks mascot declared healthy after surgery at WSU. News release. Washington State University. March 23, 2023. Accessed April 6, 2023. https://news.wsu.edu/news/2023/03/23/seahawks-mascot-taima-declared-healthy-after-surgery-at-wsu/