Bald eagle exposed to sedative ready for return to the wild - KPTV - FOX 12

Bald eagle exposed to sedative ready for return to the wild

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Photo: Audubon Society of Portland Photo: Audubon Society of Portland
WINLOCK, WA (KPTV) -

A young bald eagle found poisoned in Washington state will be returned to the wild Wednesday.

The year-old male bald eagle was one of seven exposed to a veterinary drug while feeding on two horses that had been euthanized and left out in the open.

It happened in Winlock, WA, last week.

The Audubon Society of Portland said the horses were euthanized with a barbiturate called Euthasol. It acts as a sedative in lower doses, and the young eagle was found on the ground, unable to fly.

Lacy Campbell, operations manager for the Audubon Society of Portland's Wildlife Care Center, said the bird was kept hydrated, provided regular meals and isolated to minimize stress while the barbiturate worked its way out of its system.

The eagle will be released back into the wild at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Winlock. The public is welcome to attend.

The other six eagles are continuing to receive treatment at the West Sound Wildlife Center in northern Washington.

Federal wildlife authorities are investigating this case. Harming or killing a bald eagle can result in up to a year behind bars and a $100,000 fine.

"Leaving poisoned carcasses out in the environment is completely irresponsible," said Bob Sallinger, Audubon Society of Portland conservation director. "If you don't properly dispose of euthanized animals, you run the risk of poisoning wildlife like eagles, vultures, coyotes and other scavengers. Carcasses should be disposed of immediately. This is a sad example of how poisons can move through the food chain."

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