The majestic bald eagle: a visage of bright white plumage, a sharp beak, talons 10 times stronger than an adult’s grip, and a piercing yellow gaze.
But almost every bald or golden eagle that we encounter at Rowena Wildlife includes a few more attributes: stumbling around enclosures, lethargy, unreactive to a human presence, and an inability to eat or drink on its own.
The reason for this impairment? Lead poisoning.
We are asking for donations from you to help us purchase a LeadCare II machine and blood kits. This machine will allow us to test patients immediately upon their arrival at the clinic and create an appropriate treatment plan to help with their survival.
Studies indicate that up to 35% of carcasses shot with lead bullets contain enough lead to be lethal to a variety of raptors who consume carrion. The ingested lead can also be transmitted to nestlings.
During 2020, 4 eagles were tested with a total of 9 initial and follow up tests to guide treatment. Three out of the four birds were positive for lead toxicity.
Because of the expense to send blood work out for testing, we currently only test eagles in our care. With your donation, the LeadCare II machine will allow us to test eagles, other raptors (such as hawks and owls), and scavenger birds (such as turkey vultures, ravens, and crows) who also display poisoning symptoms.
You can help us rehabilitate and protect some of the Columbia River Gorge’s most majestic predators with your donation. Visit www.rowenawildlifeclinic.org for more information. Thank you!
- Lynn Lewis
- Laura Bassler
- Juanita Neitling
- Jen Greer
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