Chocolay Raptor Center releases now healthy eagle after lead poisoning treatment


MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – An Upper Peninsula juvenile bald eagle is now free in the wild again after being treated for lead poisoning.

On December 7, 2019 the sick eagle was rescued by the Michigan DNR and Chocolay Raptor Center. The Raptor Center transported the eagle to Wild Instincts in Rhinelander, WI to go through the treatment.

Now, the bird is healthy enough to be on its own. The Chocolay Raptor Center released the bird near Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome on Tuesday afternoon.

“And over a period of six to eight weeks they were able to get the blood level down to non-detectable which it should be,” said Jerry Maynard, Chocolay Raptor Center. “And then it took another month or so to get the bird conditioned back to full strength, full weight and last week Mark called me and said she’s ready to go.”

One way hunters can help stop this continuing issue for eagles and vultures is to not use lead ammunition. These raptors are carnivores and might eat meat or fish with lead bullets or tackle inside. The Chocolay Raptor Center says that copper is the most notable alternative to lead.

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