Eagle rescued by DEEP showed high levels of deadly drug

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SHARON — The Bald Eagle recovering after being rescued at the beginning of the month showed high levels of the deadly drug pentobarbital in addition to metals that can be fatal if ingested in large quantities.

The DEEP said pentobarbital is a controlled substance used by licensed veterinarians as a humane euthanasia injection for pets and livestock. They believe that the bird ingested the substance by feeding on the carcasses of animals euthanized with the drug that had been improperly disposed.

DEEP Conservation Officers rescued the bird April 1 near the Thomaston Dam where it was on the ground and struggling to even stand.

Initial tests showed that the eagle, a male estimated to be about 9 years old, had high internal levels of mercury and lead.

It’s currently being treated twice a day with medicine, followed up by feedings.

The bald eagle is making such great progress that the rehabilitation center says it’s entirely possible that the bird can be released back into the wild within a couple of months.

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