On Monday, February 27, Bald Eagle #17-0127 was re-tested for lead, which is the Center's protocol for birds that have gone through chelation therapy. In birds with chronic lead toxicity, lead can be absorbed into a raptor's bones, and, over time, the lead can leach back out into the bird's system. Lead test results came back at a level of 0.3 ppm, which warrants treatment.
The veterinary team began an oral chelation therapy, but after two days, the bird started declining. An injectable chelation therapy was added, and the eagle was once again housed inside the Center's holding room. Sadly, the eagle's health continued to decline; on Thursday, March 2, the bird was in severe respiratory distress. Due to the severity of the symptoms, the team made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the eagle.