It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
December 30, 2013 – UTAH - Bald eagles are dying in Utah – 20 in the past few weeks alone – and nobody can figure out why. Hundreds of the majestic birds – many with wing spans of 7 feet or more – migrate here each winter, gathering along the Great Salt Lake and feasting on carp and other fish that swim in the nearby freshwater bays.
Earlier this month, however, hunters and farmers across five counties in northern and central Utah began finding the normally skittish raptors lying listless on the ground. Many suffered from seizures, head tremors and paralysis in the legs, feet and wings.
Many of the eagles were brought to the mammoth Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, where Buz Marthaler – a longtime animal caretaker – and other handlers tried to save the birds. Within 48 hours most were dead.
“It’s just hard to have your national bird in your arms, going through seizures in a way it can’t control – when you can see it’s pain but don’t know what’s happening to it,” said Marthaler, 56, co-founder of the facility in Ogden. “As a human being, you just have problems with that. And when you lose one, it just grabs your heart.” State wildlife specialists are also baffled. For weeks, officials have sent birds for necropsies at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., hoping the results would offer clues.
Having been a bird raiser for years, the symptoms are a perfect match for lead poisoning.
If it's not lead poisoning, I'd say they have a new disease on their hands.
Officials at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center have their own theories about the sickness. Some point to radiation from Japan after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. "We aren't ruling out anything," Marthaler said. A call from Idaho shed new light: A wildlife official said bald eagles there were also getting sick, suggesting that the birds were arriving in Utah already in bad health.