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Environment
7:42 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

State Awaits Lab Results As Unknown Illness Leaves More Eagles Dead

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports that another bald eagle has died from the mysterious illness that has caused the deaths of multiple birds across the state in the past two weeks.

Five eagles from across northern Utah have died from a mystery illness.
Credit nps.gov

By Monday four birds held in rehab facilities had died and one was in stable condition after showing symptoms including paralysis and tremors. However, after experiencing worsening symptoms the surviving bird was euthanized.

All of the birds that died in the facilities have been sent to labs for testing and DWR spokesman Mark Hadley said seven additional eagles found dead in the past few weeks from unknown causes will also be tested.

“The fact that these eagles that have been taken to rehab facilities have died so quickly, we decided that we were going to get those seven eagles that died in the wild to a lab too, to determine if they died from the same thing that killed the eagles that died at the rehab centers,” Hadley said.

A 13th eagle was found sick but alive Thursday in Centerville and is currently being cared for at a facility in Ogden.

DWR Disease Program Coordinator Leslie McFarlane warns people who come across sick birds to be cautious.

“Because we really don’t know what’s going on, we ask that the public not handle any of the birds,” McFarlane said. “If they do find the eagles or anything like that dead, they should call and report it to the local wildlife agency who can respond.”

Preliminary test results are expected next week.