How switching to steel and copper ammo can protect Pennsylvania’s bald eagles


(WHTM) — Lead poisoning isn’t just a threat to children, it is also a problem for eagles all across Pennsylvania.

“All of the adult bald eagles and golden eagles that we have gotten since we’ve gotten our blood lead machine have been positive for lead,” Robyn Graboski, executive director and founder for Centre Wildlife Care, said.

Centre Wildlife Care says it has treated dozens of birds in the past year for lead toxicity, including ducks, swans and geese. Especially, however, for bald eagles.

The birds get lead poisoning when they eat the carcasses of animals and fish that were hunted with lead ammo and tackle. The lead gets into their bloodstream making them both very sick and uncoordinated.

“They’re more likely to get into trouble, get injured, get hit by cars, fly into things and also get grounded. If the lead is really high, like the one that we got yesterday, it’s not injured, it’s grounded from the toxic level of lead,” Graboski said.

The rehabilitation center says hunters can help prevent this lead poisoning by using steel or copper ammo.

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