P.E.I. eagles suffering from lead poisoning
One in 10 eagles at the Atlantic Veterinary College diagnosed with the problem
The Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island says a surprising number of eagles in the province have levels of lead in their blood.
The college is conducting a study to see how big the problem is.
They say one in 10 eagles brought to the college for rehab suffer from lead poisoning. It causes nerve damage and leaves the eagles unable to fly. Researchers have also found low levels of lead in the blood of 70 per cent of nestlings and 85 per cent of adults.
"A lot of them are very low levels," said Marion Desmarchelier of the Atlantic Veterinary College.
"If they keep getting lead in the blood, at some point they will get really sick."
Researchers believe the source of lead is ammunition used by hunters. They think it’s leeching in to the ground.
A young bald eagle was returned to the wild Wednesday. The bird had a broken shoulder bone, but was also suffering from lead poisoning.
The eagle was cured after receiving an antidote.
After months of rehab, staff and students were thrilled to watch his release.