Lead-poisoned bald eagle at DCHS continues to improve

Veterinarians optimistic 21-year-old bald eagle will make full recovery
Lead-poisoned bald eagle at DCHS continues to improve
Eagle #2

Dane County Humane Society veterinarians said they are optimistic that a Bald Eagle who was sick from lead poisoning will make a full recovery.

The eagle, being cared for through the shelter’s wildlife rehabilitation program, Four Lakes Wildlife Center, has started eating on her own, according to a release.

The DCHS took in a 21-year-old bald eagle on two weeks ago after a motorist spotted the eagle on a road 2 miles west of Dodgeville. The eagle was captured by the Department of Natural Resources and taken to Soaring Eagle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Prairie du Sac before being transported to DCHS.

Another eagle, admitted two weeks prior, was found in Sauk County and died a day after being admitted.

Both eagles tested positive for high levels of acute lead toxicity and fragments of lead were also visible in the first eagle’s radiographs, according to DCHS Public Relations Coordinator Gayle Viney.

The ill eagle was treated with a medication injected into the bird’s muscle to help the bird’s body excrete the lead. A second round of the medication was started Monday and another blood test will be performed next week.

DCHS said eagles frequently scavenge carcasses of deer, pheasants and other wildlife that may harbor lead or lead fragments. Also, live prey impaired by lead ingestion, such as waterfowl, are easy targets for eagles.

DCHS will continue to monitor the eagle’s condition, and once her blood levels fall and stay within the acceptable range, she will be transferred to another wildlife center for the final stage of conditioning before release, according to the release.

DCHS officials said they are hoping to raise $800 needed to pay for the eagle’s medical tests, treatment, care and food. To make a contribution, go online and select Four Lakes Wildlife Center and type “Bald Eagle” in the comment section.