Lead poisoning kills bald eagle

SEAFORD, Del. – A bald eagle was recently found in Seaford and taken to Tri-State Bird Rescue in Newark, only for rescuers to learn that the bird had severe lead poisoning.

Maryanne Yingst, a Volunteer with Tri-State Bird Rescue said, “The lead levels were so high, she was a female and she was so emaciated that there was no way for us to turn her around for her to recover.”

Wildlife advocates tell 47 ABC this type of tragedy can easily be avoided in the future.

Yingst said, “This is all preventable as long as hunters can use non-lead ammunition and fisherman can use non-lead lures and sinkers.”

Often times birds, like bald eagles, will eat the carcasses of deer that have been shot by hunters or fish that have a hook still embedded in their bodies exposing the birds to lead poisoning.

Yingst said, “When I got an eagle a couple of years ago that had been poisoned, it’s just horrible. It’s a slow death and you don’t want to wish that on any animal.”

That’s why wildlife advocates are encouraging hunters and fishermen to opt for those non-lead lures and sinkers and ammunition in the future.

Tri State Bird Rescue saved another bald eagle in New Jersey earlier in the month from a snare trap.

We’re told that bird had a small amount of lead poisoning as well, but it is expected to make a full recovery.

Categories: Delaware, Local News