CAMDEN COUNTY, NC (WTKR) — Bald eagles are federally protected, but experts say they’re dying from bullets in North Carolina.
Not because they’re being shot but because the lead found in hunters’ bullets is making its way into their systems.
A male eagle found in Camden County, North Carolina was weak and dehydrated and had a much more frightening symptom: lead poisoning.
“Birds die and quite often they are exhibiting signs that are too bad,” said Lou Browning with Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation. They’ve gone too far and they are euthanized.”
Browning says 70 to 80% of the eagles that are treated have high levels of lead in their system, and the effects are devastating.
This year alone, Browning says there have been 9 cases of eagles found with lead poisoning in northeastern North Carolina.