BROOKS, WV (WVNS) — Experts at a local avian center are asking hunters to use non-lead ammunition this hunting season after treating several bald eagles for lead poisoning. They say the eagles are poisoned by eating other animals that are killed by hunters using lead ammunition.
Three Rivers Avian Center said they are currently treating three bald eagles for lead poisoning. The most recent bird to be treated was brought to their center Tuesday morning from the Lewisburg area. They also said a fourth bald eagle died in September from lead poisoning.
Officials said all three birds they are currently treating had lead levels in their blood over 65 micrograms per deciliter- which they said is enough to kill a child.
“If you are firing lead ammunition as a hunter, please remember that no part of the animal you kill will be safe to eat,” experts at Three Rivers Avian Center said. “Please switch to non-lead ammunition!. Carefully clean your gun before hunting if you have been firing lead ammo – the barrel will still have lead residue that will continue onwards with the non-lead ammo if you don’t.”
The center also asks people not use lead sinkers when fishing. If a fish swallows a lead sinker, then the fish or the animal/person who eats the fish could get lead poisoning.
“Please, for the sake of you and your family, for the sake of wildlife and these majestic symbols of our country, please switch to non-lead ammunition.”