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Rescue group nursing wounded bald eagle back to health

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 23 2013 03:56:43 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 23 2013 05:02:24 PM CST

A bald eagle in critical condition is being nursed back to health at a rescue center in Schuylkill County.

WAYNE TWP., Pa. -

A bald eagle in critical condition is being nursed back to health at a rescue center in Schuylkill County.

Experts said it's been almost two weeks since the adult male eagle first came into their care at the Red Creek Wildlife Center near Schuylkill Haven. He was discovered in Lebanon County, suffering from lead poisoning, a broken leg and about 100 puncture wounds.

"Each one of the things that happened to him could have ended up killing him," said Peggy Hentz, the center's director. "The numerous punctures was enough to knock him down."

Although there's no way to know for sure, Hentz said she believes the eagle fell prey to another animal, likely another male bald eagle during a territorial dispute.

She suspects the eagle was weak beforehand from lead poisoning, most commonly obtained through consumption.

"In the beginning, he maxed out our machine. He had more lead than our machine could actually measure," said Hentz.

Yet since receiving treatment, Hentz told 69 News that level has dropped by nearly two-thirds. The eagle also received surgery to his leg and is being treated with antibiotics and wound care regularly.

"To see him strive and get stronger, which he is, is wonderful," said Hentz.

While Hentz told 69 News there is no guarantee the bird will survive, she and her team hope to see him make a full recovery by this spring. The bald eagle would be the second the center has rescued and released this year.

"I'm hopeful. I'm optimistic. I'm just hoping we can release another one," said Gregory Nason, assistant manager at the center.