CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Raptor Center is celebrating its 25,000th raptor rehabilitation patient, since admitting its first bird in 1975, by releasing a two-year-old rehabilitated bald eagle at the Dragonfly Pond at Reedy Creek Nature Center Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
According to a release, this represents nearly five decades of conserving North Carolina’s birds of prey through raptor rehabilitation and public education.
“This Bald Eagle is the perfect bird to release in celebration of this momentous accomplishment because Bald Eagle populations have made an impressive recovery since the 1970s and serve as a symbol of conservation success," Director of Birds Kristin Dean said. "Bald Eagles were threatened with extinction due to DDT poisoning, but because of the efforts of dedicated people across the continent, Bald Eagles were taken off the Endangered Species list in 2007. We know that when people work together to save a species, we can succeed.”
According to The Carolina Raptor Center, the eagle came to the rehabilitation hospital in early July after being found emaciated. Further examination and blood analysis determined that it was suffering from lead poisoning.
When scavenging birds, like Bald Eagles, and mammals eat the remains of carcasses shot with lead ammunition, tiny fragments of the heavy metal can be ingested and then absorbed into their bloodstream, often causing long-term side effects and sometimes even death.
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