Bald eagle being treated for lead poisoning - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bald eagle being treated for lead poisoning

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(CNN) -

(KEPR) - Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton, Oregon received a new patient on Monday: an adult bald eagle with the highest amounts of lead poisoning they've ever seen in his system.

The eagle tested at 622 micrograms of lead per deciliter, more than 30 times the amount of what's considered toxic.

The lead poisoning has caused the raptor to be unable to stand or carry its head upright. However, it's not completely paralyzed and is still able to move its feet.

The chances of his survival is very slim.

This isn't the first time this has happened. This particular bird is the third bald eagle this year to be brought in with lead toxicity in Oregon.

Lead ammo is often used to shoot game animals and kill animals considered pests, such as ground squirrels and coyotes.

But lead ammunition could also be dangerous to people if they eat meat from infected animals since it raises the chance of lead exposure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers five micrograms per deciliter the reference level for public health actions to be taken.

Officials plan to continue to treat this bird until it recovers or dies.

Last year Blue Mountain Wildlife tested 16 eagles for lead.

Six of them were above the amount considered dangerous, with the most measuring at 411 micrograms per deciliter. The minimum level that's considered dangerous is 20.

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