Lead Poisoning Grounds Eagle
On March 7, 2022, a Bald Eagle was spotted unable to fly at Navajo Lake in northwest New Mexico. He was brought to the Santa Fe Raptor Center where chelation therapy for lead poisoning was started. Named Toucan Sam, his blood was tested for lead and his numbers were off the chart. His symptons included intermittent blindness, seizures, crying and inability to stand. In the months that followed, his lead levels gradually started to diminish. These days Lori Paras, Director, has been building up his strength so he can be released in time for the northern migration.
Lead is toxic to all biological life. Please educate friends and family who are fishermen and hunters about lead-free sinkers and bullets. In a recent study of 1,210 Bald and Golden Eagles, (summarized in Sciene, volume 375 on 18 February 2022) almost 50% were contaminated with lead. Bald Eagles were almost wiped out in the early 1970's because of DDT, and now our national symbol is being poisoned again.