Friday, March 21, 2014

Update on Bald Eagle Patients from Shakopee, MN

Dr. Michelle Willette listens to the eagle's heartbeat.

We wanted to update you on the progress of the two bald eagles recently brought in from the Shakopee, MN area.  As you might remember, both birds have soft tissue damage from the territory dispute they were engaged in, resulting in their being found locked together on the ground.  However, the story that has emerged after they were brought in is that both were found positive for lead toxicity.  

One of them was examined today.  He has been eating, and his wounds are being treated.  The lead in his blood is being addressed by chelation. This is a process where we administer a medication that binds to the lead and allows the animal to eliminate it from their system. 

Every bald eagle admitted to TRC’s clinic has their blood tested for the presence of lead.  An average of over 30% of bald eagles we admit every year suffers from lead toxicity. The primary cause of lead toxicity in bald eagles is ingestion of bullet fragments (hunting ammunition) in a meal such as a deer carcass or gut pile.

The other eagle has a wound on the inside of its mouth, which was not a result of the battle with the other eagle.  It most likely was caused by a parasite, and treatment will continue.
The length of the birds’ stay will be determined by the progress they make. 

Our friends at KARE11 came out today to find out more information about the eagle patients.   Watch for a story soon!

TRC continues to educate the public on the impacts of lead in the environment.  For more information, you can go to our website. 

Lori Arent, TRC Clinic Manager, puts a protective tape on the eagle's wrist.

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