Bald eagle dies from lead poisoning - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bald eagle dies from lead poisoning

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Wildlife rehab experts are hoping to educate people on the dangers of lead poisoning following the death of a bald eagle in Eastern Iowa.

Two men found the eagle in Waverly and realized it was sick.

They say they took it to an animal hospital and tests showed a lethal amount of lead in the eagles blood.

Linda Nebbe, a rehabilitationist, says she believes it came from lead shot shell fragments or fish tackle.

Nebbe is one of the few licensed raptor rehab specialists in Iowa.

"You hope it's going to get better and then you watch it die this horrible excruciating death, its maddening," she said.

Her son, Nathan, explained how the lead could have been ingested.

"Animals like eagles and other birds or prey at the top of the food chain, they eat animals that have lead, and it accumulates in their tissues and can poison them, it's a very powerful neurotoxin. 

The Nebbes say they want hunters to be conscientious when they're in the wilderness and to use steel shot instead of lead shot.

Experts at Scheels say lead is so much more common because its cheaper, about a $5 a box difference.

Lead is also a more flexible material so there's a less chance it could explode inside the barrel of the gun.

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