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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Game Commission says the number of cases of lead poisoning in bald eagles is on the rise.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission says that an increasing number of bald eagles suffering from lead toxicity have been admitted to wildlife-rehabilitation centers across the state.
Red Creek Wildlife Center Director Peggy Hentz says they have treated twelve bald eagles for lead toxicity at their center alone in the past year, and only one of those eagles survived.
Back in August, a 30-year-old bald eagle that was found in Kiski Township died from lead toxicity. A penny and other small metal fragments were found in the eagle’s stomach.
According to the Game Commission, data from the past ten years shows that about one-third of bald eagle deaths in the state are associated with a toxin and lead is the most common.
The Game Commission says although the main source of ingested lead has not been identified, hunters can help prevent lead poisoning by burying the carcasses and gutpiles of game animals so bald eagles do not ingest lead fragments or particles from the remains. Hunters can also use non-lead ammunition.