Eagle suffering pesticide toxicity found Sunday, officials say

SAUK COUNTY, Wis. - A young bald eagle with pesticide poisoning was transported Sunday evening to the Dane County Humane Society‘s Wildlife Center.

The Sauk County Humane Society found the bird floundering on a trail in the woods, according to a Facebook post. 

At the time, the organization was unsure of his injuries and if he was suffering from lead poisoning. 

Sauk County then transported him to the Wildlife Center for proper treatment. 

After consulting with Dr. Ratliff from UW Veterinary Service's Special Species Service and giving the eagle an intake exam, the Wildlife Center said in a Facebook post that he is suffering from organophosphate and carbamate toxicity.

Organophosphate and carbamate are compounds commonly used in pesticides, according to the Wildlife Center. 

The center said eagles may be exposed to these chemicals from feeding on smaller animals who likely consumed vegetation treated with these toxic pesticides.  

According to the post, the eagle also tested positive for mildly elevated levels of lead and was emaciated and severely hypoglycemic. 

The center said the eagle has a lot to overcome.

Treatment has already started, and the center said, "We'll do our best to pull him through."

This comes days after another eagle transported from the Sauk County Humane Society died from lead toxicity. 

A growing number of raptors and other birds in Wisconsin are dying from lead poisoning.

"Honestly, it's always been a problem. We have a long history in Wisconsin of using lead shot in waterfall hunting, which was banned a couple of years ago. But that lead stays in the environment, it doesn't really go away," said Jackie Sandberg, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator at the Dane County Humane Society.

This year lead was found in local possums, blue jays and crows. These animals are not usually tested for lead. 

Sandberg said this indicates how much lead is in the environment affecting humans.

She encourages the hunting community to make the change from lead to copper bullets in an effort to save these animals. 

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