Potato Creek bald eagle dies from lead poisoning

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- A sub-adult male bald eagle found in Potato Creek State Park suffering from lead poisoning has died.

Monday afternoon local wildlife photographer Jeff Basham contacted park officials concerning a bald eagle that was suffering.

The eagle was transferred to Humane Indiana Wildlife by Rescue Release Repeat of South Bend.

According to Humane Indiana Wildlife's Facebook page, the eagle was suffering from lead toxicity, which results in depressed behaviors, lethargy and tremors.

The lead toxicity level of the eagle when tested, was lethal.

Though the Humane Indiana Wildlife team provided stabilizing care, fluids and critical care food alternative, the bald eagle passed away overnight.

Even a small exposure to lead can be a devastating illness for eagles. 

"A lead fragment the size of a grain of rice is lethal to a mature bald eagle, meaning that a standard 150 grain lead bullet can poison 10 eagles...For this reason, lead is often called 'the silent killer,'" Humane Indiana Wildlife shared in their Facebook post.

It is believed that exposures of lead in eagles are unintended consequences of lead ammunition fragments and lead fishing tackle that are left behind.

To avoid these exposures, non-lead ammunition and tackle are an option.

You can learn more about the mission of Humane Indiana Wildlife here.

If you see sick wildlife, the Indiana DNR asks you to report it here.

Jeff Basham / Wildlife Photographer

Jeff Basham / Wildlife Photographer

Jeff Basham / Wildlife Photographer

Jeff Basham / Wildlife Photographer

Humane Indiana Wildlife

Humane Indiana Wildlife

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