3 bald eagles die, 10 sick after eating euthanized animals

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minnesota — At least 13 bald eagles were likely poisoned while salvaging the carcasses of euthanized animals that were improperly disposed of at a Minnesota landfill, and three of the majestic birds died.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that state and federal wildlife officials are investigating after the eagles were found this month near the Pine Bend landfill in the Minneapolis suburb of Inver Grove Heights.

Ten of the birds are in intensive care at the University of Minnesota Raptor Center. The centre’s executive director, Victoria Hall, said she was optimistic the birds would recover.

Hall said when the eagles were found, some of them were lying motionless, face down in the snow, and Raptor Center employees weren’t sure if they were still alive. Vets suspect the dead eagles ate part of the carcass of an animal that was euthanized with pentobarbital, and investigators confirmed some euthanized animals were taken to the landfill on December 2.

Hall said animals that have been chemically euthanized are supposed to be disposed of in a way that other animals cannot pick them up.

Of the 11 eagles that were brought to the Raptor Center, three also had lead poisoning and one eagle that had bird flu died. Two other eagles were found dead near the dump.

A fund has been created to help pay for the care of the eagles.

ABC News

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