A bald eagle rescued by four Bucks County rangers over the weekend reportedly died Monday of cardiac arrest, possibly brought on by suspected lead poisoning.
On Saturday afternoon, rangers received a call about an injured bald eagle at Core Creek Park in Middletown Township. The distressed eagle tried to evade capture and had to be pulled from the nearby creek, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.
— Bucks Courier Times (@CourierTimes) February 22, 2017
The male eagle was initially treated at the Aark Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in New Britain Township before being transferred to the Radnor Veterinary Hospital.
The large raptor was found to have ingested 20 pieces of metal, could not stand, was salivating profusely, was underweight and in critical condition. Blood tests found a significantly diminished red blood-cell count, a common result of lead poisoning in eagles, according to the news story.
Birds are known to eat lead fish sinkers which can leak toxic chemicals into their gut, slowing down the bird's digestion and causing it to become both anorexic and anemic, the story reported.