Los Angeles Times, Dec. 29, 2013: Bald eagles are dying in Utah — 20 in the past few weeks alone — and nobody can figure out why. [...] Many suffered from seizures, head tremors and paralysis [...] Many of the eagles were brought to the mammoth Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah [...] Within 48 hours, most were dead. [...] State wildlife specialists are baffled. [...] At first, the agency’s disease scientists guessed the illness could be encephalitis, which is caused by the West Nile virus, but later ruled out that possibility. [...] Officials at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center have their own theories. Some point to radiation from Japan after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. [...] A call from Idaho shed new light: A wildlife official said bald eagles there were also getting sick, suggesting the birds were arriving in Utah already in bad health.
Buz Marthaler, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah co-founder: “It’s just hard to have your national bird in your arms, going through seizures in a way it can’t control — when you can see it’s pain but don’t know what’s happening to it. As a human being, you just have problems with that. [...] In an average year, we might get one or two, but we’ve received nine so far, and five of those have died. The other four are still in our care. [...] We aren’t ruling out anything.”
See also: '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 30th, 2013 at 3:24 pm ET