‘High Alert’: Mystery illness killing bald eagles in Western U.S. — Wings paralyzed, full blown seizures — Experts: “Very big concern”… “Never seen anything like this”… “We just don’t know what’s going on” (VIDEOS)

Published: December 29th, 2013 at 9:35 am ET
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KUTV, Dec. 28, 2013: Wildlife experts are on high alert as more bald eagles are found suffering from a mysterious illness [...] It’s a very big concern. Wildlife experts have never seen anything like this before with bald eagles. […] Wildlife experts have never seen bald eagles suffer like this before in Utah and scientists are unsure of what is making them ill.

KSTU, Dec. 15, 2013: Officials thought the symptoms might have been from lead poisoning, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. [...] “I don’t think words can describe what you see and what you feel, and the helplessness and trying to figure out what’s going on,” [DaLyn Erickson, executive director at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah] said. Symptoms suffered by the birds include, leg paralysis, wing paralysis, head tremors and seizures.

Source: Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group

WTMJ, Dec. 26, 2013: Wildlife experts say they’ve never seen anything like this before. [...] “Weakness in the legs, weakness in the wings. And then very quickly move into having tremors, and then full blown seizures.”

KSL, Dec. 23, 2013: The wildlife folks are considering all possibilities but admit this is a strange situation. “No, we’ve never had this many birds come in of one species, and as quickly in as short a span of time, and having them all die,” Erickson-Marthaler said. >> Watch report here

KSL, Dec. 24, 2013: “No one’s sure what’s happening” […] “Typically, we’ll get 3 bald eagles a year,” Erickson said. “We’re concerned just because it’s something new. It’s something we don’t know. We have yet to ever see this quantity of birds coming in of one species in this short a span of time […] we just don’t know what’s going on,” Erickson said. >> Watch report here

KSL, Dec. 27, 2013: At the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, bald eagles are arriving faster than ever before. […] >> Watch report here

Fox News, Dec. 20, 2013: “I don’t ever recall having this many eagles die in such a short period of time,” [Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Mark Hadley] said. “It is very unusual.” [...] It could be encephalitis, which is caused by West Nile Virus, though officials said it seems too late in the year for that.

NBC, Dec. 26, 2013: eagle deaths have been concentrated in the northern and central parts of Utah [...] neurological symptoms and enlarged hearts [were observed]. [...] a recent die-off in Utah of eared grebes that began in November and has now killed thousands of birds may be tied to the deaths of eagles […]  >> Watch report here

Published: December 29th, 2013 at 9:35 am ET
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186 comments

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