Bald eagles are starting to be under threat due to lead poisoning

Local News

Bald eagles are starting to be under threat.

Bald eagle deaths for lead poisoning are on the rise just this year three bald eagles have died.

One of them was severely hurt, her head was upside down because of the amount of lead that was in her system.

Tamara Yarger is the founder of Hog Capital Wildlife Rescue and Rehab and she’s rescued multiple bald eagles from lead poisoning.

One of them was Miss Majestic who was rescued from someone’s backyard off Route 91.

“She had really bad neurological illness from the lead poisoning her head was tilted all the way upside down,” said Yarger.

Ed Britton of the Savanna District Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge says, this is the time when they see more injured bald eagles

“Particularly in March we pick up a lot of eagles both dead, sick injured eagles,” said Britton. “Really see an up tick in the number of eagles with lead exposure poisoning when deer hunting starts.”

Bald eagles are scavengers and hunters, in a study that was completed in 2014 they were able to see how bald eagles get sick.

“When eagles turn into scavengers they find these protein piles really quickly so we put cameras on these protein piles and we found out multiple eagles would feed on them until every last bit was gone,” said Britton. “When they look at the amount of lead they had in their system some of them were 6,7,8,9, 10 times the amount of lead that would’ve killed a eagle and a piece of lead fragment as small as a piece of rice if ingested by an eagle it is enough to kill it.”

Yarger said she hopes hunters become aware of ammunition they use when hunting.

“They need to be aware of what kind of ammunition they’re using and if they’re going to be using flat ammunition I know it’s hard I know it makes the deer heavier please don’t leave the dress field behind,” said Yarger.

The Savanna National Wildlife and Fish Refuge also offers educational hunting programs.

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