Saturday, January 12, 2013
You'll note in this photo that the bird is not standing quite normally. That's because FRANNIE has severe lead poisoning. She's also wearing some "slippers" on her feet to keep her toes open. One of the signs of advanced lead poisoning is the inability to open their feet.
This amazingly beautiful nine month old Golden Eagle female apparently found food at either a hunters discarded gut pile or possibly a rabbit left after being shot. Unfortunately the raptors pay the price because there is no law preventing the use of lead in big game bullets or .22 rifles. Copper or steel is a much better choice.
Lead is accumulative so any ingested at some point in their life will be added to whatever comes next until the bird slowly dies from being unable to catch food. FRANNIE's knuckles were very abraded after walking around on her fists for some time. She also only weighed 7#10oz which is about three pounds less than she should weigh.
This eagle was started on a product, EDTA, to help leach the lead from her system but that entails six shots a day for three days, three days off, three days on, etc. At this point she starts her second session tomorrow. She's shown some improvement in trying to stand and is now able to eat small, whole mice or larger ones cut up on her own. Hopefully she will recover from this devastating problem