On July 16, a mature female Bald Eagle was admitted to the Wildlife Center from Highland County. Rescuers found that the bird was being "trampled by cows" in a pasture on July 15; the bird was able to be captured and was transported to the Center for care.
Dr. Sarah, the Center's veterinary intern, examined the eagle on admission. The bird was thin and dehydrated, but otherwise, the physical examination was unremarkable. Blood work confirmed a lead level of 0.127 ppm; this level is generally considered "subclinical", meaning that lead is present, but typically patients with this lower level of lead don't exhibit symptoms. In this bird's case, the team suspects her quiet, subdued attitude and thin body condition is likely due to the presence of lead. Since no level of lead is safe, the veterinary team started a course of oral chelation therapy.
During the next few days, the Bald Eagle's attitude improved significantly. On July 20, the eagle finished her course of treatment for lead poisoning, and on July 21, the veterinary team performed a follow-up lead test which was "low". The eagle moved to an outdoor C-pen enclosure for additional observation. Another lead test will be performed in a few weeks.