In the fall of 2020, a Bald Eagle was severely injured. His beak was quite damaged and one of his legs was broken. He continued to survive in the wild until he was found starving to death and unable to move in a ditch. He was taken to A Place Called Hope, a rehab clinic in Killingworth, Connecticut. The staff did not hold out much hope for him but they cleaned him up and fed him. He wanted to live! They tested him for lead poisoning and you might recall that it was 49.8 – extremely high. Still the staff felt that if he wanted to live so badly they wanted to give him a chance. They began Chelation Therapy. Chelation Therapy involves infusing his system with a synthetic substance known as EDTA. The heavy metals stick to the EDTA and are excreted from the body.
The image below shows the Old Warrior right when he arrived at A Place Called Hope.
This is an image of him cleaned up.
The Chelation Therapy worked and the lead levels in the body of this beautiful eagle dropped from 49.8 to 10.
He is such a peaceful bird, not a threat to the staff. He was allowed to walk around the clinic when it was being cleaned.
By March the 4th, the Old Warrior was ready to go outside in the Aviary. It was here that the staff would watch him and determine the nest phase for this determined Bald Eagle.
In their observations, he could fly and land where he wanted but he had difficulty breathing. Despite the injury to his beak he had a terrific appetite.
Today it was determined that the Old Warrior was not releasable into the wild. Here is in the aviary at A Place Called Hope. A Place Called Hope have applied to the USFWS for a permit to keep him forever. While the goal is always to have the birds live free in the wild, it was determined with all of his physical problems that this would not be in the raptor’s best interests. Let us hope that he lives a good and long life. He looks so gorgeous after his bath in the images below.
All over wildlife rehabbers and raptor lovers are calling for an end to the use of lead in both hunting and fishing equipment. Perhaps this eagle can be the poster child for that movement.
Thank you for joining me and checking in on this amazing raptor. The Old Warrior is a symbol of persistence and endurance. Let us all be as strong as he is!
Thank you to APCH for their continued care. Their facility is not for profit and is run by donations. If you feel so inclined, please donate. The cost of a single Chelation Therapy session is nearly $600 US. You can Google them. Thank you to APCH for the images from their FB Page. I have reposted them.