New details emerged surrounding Bald Eagle tragedy

Federalsburg resident Bob Coleman describes what it was like in 2016 in the days before 13 Bald Eagles were found dead on a neighboring farm.  He says Eagles were at that point just returning to the area. 

Now 47ABC has learned all of those Eagles died from poisoning, by ingesting Carbofuran, specifically.

Coleman calls it, "a terrible thing."

"When we were leaving to go to work and we'd drive down the road and then there'd be some roadkill or something, and the eagles would come out."

The birds' prey may have been their downfall.  According to a federal lab report, six of the 13 Eagles were taken for testing back in 2016.  The results showed all had been poisoned, and five of the six were found with raccoon in their stomachs.

Coincidentally, a raccoon with traces of Carbofuran was also found on the same farm.

"The rumor was that maybe that had happened.  That some farmer had poisoned an animal and the Eagles got in it," said Coleman.

Officials we spoke with say the chemical, that has been banned in the U.S. in granular form since 1987, and banned from use on crops since 2009, could've been illegally used to thwart other wildlife.  And the Eagles may have died from secondary poisoning.

"It could be used to target animals that people don't want around, and there are cases going back to the 80s where Eagles have been found getting secondary poisoning from Carbofuran," said Catherine Hibbard, public affairs specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Officials add they can't pinpoint where the raccoon had been poisoned.  Whether on the farm where its remains were discovered, or if the bird had flown their prey to this Federalsburg farm.

Officials also tell us that as of now this case remains closed.  However, that does not mean investigators are not still in search of answers.  They hope that anyone out there with information can provide a tip that can lead to the reopening and solving of this case.

Categories: Local News, Maryland

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