Many Eagles From the USA Suffer From Lead Poisoning Due to Bullets

Many Eagles From the USA Suffer From Lead Poisoning Due to Bullets
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Eagles are some of the most fantastic creatures on our planet, and for good reasons. They represent courage, power, and wisdom. But even so, our flying friends might not be very protected by us, unfortunately.

According to Insider, roughly half of bald and golden eagles that fly above the US suffer from chronic lead poisoning due to bullet fragments. Apart from concluding that there are too many bullets in the USA, how can those fragments possibly get into the eagles’ bodies? There’s also an explanation for this little mystery as well.

Hunted animals carry the lead from bullets

People hunt wild animals across the US. They obviously use bullets for that. Lead fragments from those bullets obviously remain in the bodies of the dead animals. As soon as eagles come to feast upon those corpses, they get the lead inside their bodies as well.

It’s not even mandatory to be a scientist to figure out that lead poisoning isn’t a good idea. The substance even jeopardizes the normal growth of the eagles’ population. 

Todd Katzner, who’s a research wildlife biologist and co-author of the study, declared for Insider:

Every single time a lead bullet hits a deer, it fragments into many, many pieces,

It only takes a tiny fragment, something the size of the head of a pin, to kill an eagle.

Speaking of lead fragments, here’s what Vince Slabe has to say for the same source:

We got samples from Alaska down to Florida, from Maine to California, so we really had this wide sample size that is reflective of this nationwide pattern that we’re seeing in these birds.

Slabe is a research wildlife biologist and also a co-author of the study.

The new study was published in Science.


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Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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