This just in from the Good News Department: A female bald eagle, nearly killed by acute zinc poisoning, has been successfully cured and released back into the wild, thanks to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a local rehabilitation center.
The following story was posted on their Facebook page:
On January 10, 2016, DEC Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Michael Buckley received a call about a bald eagle needing assistance in the town of Wallkill. The caller said the eagle was in her backyard acting strangely.
The DEC also contacted a local wildlife rehabilitator named Barbara “Missy” Runyan, from The Friends of Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in Hunter, NY.
Together, ECO Buckley and the rehabilitator managed to transport the eagle to the rehabilitation center for treatment. They determined that the 13-year-old eagle was suffering from acute zinc poisoning, which caused blindness and seizures. After days of treatment and rehab, the eagle regained her sight and was nursed fully back to health! It was released Saturday, from the same backyard where it was found.
If anything like us, you ‘re probably wondering where the heck that zinc came from. Turns out it can be found in a wide range of sources. The DEC notes that it is commonly found in fertilizers and galvanized metal coatings used in bridges and docks, and can bioaccumulate in fish and other prey.
They do not yet know how this particular eagle was poisoned.
Here are a selection of photos from the capture and release:
Photo credit: NYS DEC