Bald Eagle #20-0798

Admission Date: 
May 4, 2020
Location of Rescue: 
Middlesex County, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Found alone on the ground
Died May 12, 2020
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

On May 4, the Center admitted a young Bald Eagle from Middlesex County. The bird was seen in a field for two days, without any evidence of parents coming to feed it; the bird was taken to Nature's Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation and was transferred to the Wildlife Center two days later. 

Dr. Karra examined the young bird at admission and found that the eaglet was quiet but reactive when handled. The eaglet was dehydrated and thin. Radiographs were within normal limits, though a blood test revealed that the young bird had a blood lead level of 0.035 ppm. While this lead level is considered "subclinical", no level of lead is safe to have in the body; the veterinary team will begin a course of oral chelation therapy. 

Once the eaglet finishes treatment and a follow-up lead test confirms that the bird is lead-free, it will be introduced to the other Bald Eaglets and adult Bald Eagle in an outdoor flight pen. 

Your donation will help provide veterinary care to this young eagle -- and the 3,000 other patients that the Center will admit this year. Thank you! 


May 13, 2020

After completing a course of oral chelation therapy for lead intoxication, Bald Eaglet #20-0798 was moved to the tower of the A3 flight pen on May 9. On May 11, Dr. Karra checked on the bird and found that the young eaglet had lost weight and generally seemed more depressed than he had been before he moved outside. Dr. Karra moved the eaglet back into the Center's holding room and offered fluids and additional food. 

On May 12, the eaglet's condition had declined, and he was showing signs of increased respiratory rate and effort. Sadly, later that night, Dr. Karra found him deceased in his crate. While the exact cause of death is unknown, Dr. Karra suspects that the young eaglet's respiratory system may have been compromised after several bouts of regurgitation, which was likely related to the lead intoxication. 

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