On Sunday night, James rescued our 200th patient since we opened our doors at the beginning of 2021. Unfortunately, it was a heartbreaking case. The Eagle was found on the side of M-55, and it was humanely euthanized on admission. It had a compound fracture in its wing and a broken leg. In addition, testing showed that it had lead poisoning.
We began this year with the goal of testing 10 eagles for lead levels in their blood. To date, we have tested 16 eagles. Out of those 16 eagles, 12 have come back with elevated levels. This affects their ability to hunt and increases their chances of collisions. At high enough levels, lead can also cause death.
Studies have shown that lead ammunition and fishing tackle are a major contributing factor to this problem. Small lead fragments from ammunition can also pose a danger to hunters and their families, especially those with young children. We would like to encourage our fellow sportsmen to consider lead free alternatives.
Counting this eagle, in the last month we have admitted nine birds. All nine came to us as a result of vehicle collisions. With the holidays approaching, remember that we share this planet with others. Remember to leave plenty of time for your holiday travels, avoid using your phone, and find a designated driver if you are consuming alcohol. Slow down and give a wide berth to wildlife you see near the road. Let’s all do our best to provide a safe holiday season for our friends, neighbors, pets, and wildlife!