Bald eagle shot near Colfax continues to recover from lead poisoning, broken wing

So far, the eagle has received two rounds of treatment for lead poisoning and will be tested again Monday to see if more treatment is needed.
[FILE] An eagle shot near Colfax, Wis. in April 2022 continues to recover from lead poisoning...
[FILE] An eagle shot near Colfax, Wis. in April 2022 continues to recover from lead poisoning and a broken wing. This image was taken when the female bird was taken to a rehab facility.(Raptor Education Group, Inc.)
Published: Apr. 23, 2022 at 11:07 AM CDT
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ANTIGO, Wis. (WEAU) - A bald eagle shot near Colfax earlier this year continues to make progress in recovering from lead poisoning and a broken wing, a group rehabbing the bird said Friday.

The Raptor Education Group in Antigo, Wis. said the eagle “is better every day.”

In early April, the female bird was found in the Town of Cooks Valley in western Chippewa County near Colfax in a ditch on 135th Avenue west of 20th Street. The eagle struck with bird shot was likely in mid-flight, the Group said. When the eagle was brought in, she was in what the group described as “critical” condition. In an update April 12, or about a week after the bird was taken to the rehabilitation center, the Group said the eagle still had 20 pellets in her body.

So far, the eagle has received two rounds of treatment for lead poisoning, and will be tested again on Monday to see if she needs more treatment. This weekend, with the expected good weather, the eagle is being placed in an outdoor area to see if her muscle coordination is returning, since lead poisoning causes a lack of coordination as well as other issues. The eagle is also now eating on her own and eating “well,” the Group said.

A bald eagle shot near Colfax, Wis. is still recovering from lead poisoning and has over 20...
A bald eagle shot near Colfax, Wis. is still recovering from lead poisoning and has over 20 pellets in its body. The Raptor Education Group is "cautiously optimistic" about the bird's recovery.(Raptor Education Group, Inc.)

On April 12, the Group said they were “cautiously optimistic” about the eagle’s recovery. In a Facebook post that day, the Group said they had begun the second round of lead poisoning treatment and that due to the poisoning and trauma from the shooting, they had still been tube-feeding the eagle. The post also described the eagle as “lovely... with a gentle personality” and said they will continue to do their best for her.

The reward for information about the shooting is over $18,000, according to the post on April 12. Travis Hakes, a police officer and candidate for Chippewa County Sheriff, said earlier this month the reward was at $18,150.

The Raptor Education Group, which rehabilitates injured or sick birds, said they were aware of 32 shootings involving protected species of birds last year, including a dozen instances of a bald eagle being shot. In regards to the shooting of the bald eagle, the organization said that it’s hard to mistake an adult bald eagle for any other type of bird due to its clearly-visible white head and white tail feathers.

An adult female bald eagle was shot near Colfax, Wis. The Raptor Education Group said the eagle...
An adult female bald eagle was shot near Colfax, Wis. The Raptor Education Group said the eagle was likely shot mid-flight and had over 20 shots in her body, resulting in lead poisoning and a broken wing. The eagle was in critical condition as of Sunday, April 3, 2022.(Raptor Education Group, Inc.)

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Department of Natural Resources or the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office.

The Raptor Education Group is a nonprofit dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of wild birds and public education on wildlife issues. You can visit their website for more information about their work, to donate or to learn more about birds.

Update on Colfax Bald Eagle! We have good news on the Colfax Bald Eagle that was shot and retains over 20 shot in her...

Posted by Raptor Education Group, Inc. on Monday, April 11, 2022

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