SALT LAKE CITY, UT (CBS Las Vegas) – Wildlife experts cannot seem to figure out why so many bald eagles have been dying in Utah.
There have been 12 reported cases so far this month, with the latest coming this past weekend.
“It’s frustrating and heart breaking,” Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, told KSL-TV. “It’s really hard because you want to be able to do something right now and we just can’t.”
“It’s hard to watch,” DaLyn Erickson-Marthaler, an employee at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, told KSL. “It’s really frustrating to not be able to know what we’re treating, what we’re seeing, if we can even treat it at all.”
The only thing the experts know for sure is that all the eagles were experiencing the same symptoms.
“They were showing signs of body tremors, they would have seizures, they appeared to be paralyzed, and they had weakness in their feet and in their legs,” Erickson-Marthaler added to KSL.
The Division of Wildlife says this is the time of year eagles migrate from other states to Utah and are usually seen near the Great Salt Lake.
It is concerning to them that the dead birds were all discovered in one area.
“Usually if you have something, say like a poisoning or something like that, usually you find them in small geographical areas or something along those lines,” McFarlane told KSL.
The wildlife experts have sent the dead eagles off to be tested but do not expect the results back until the end of the year.
“Even then, even when we do find out what it is, it may be something that we can do nothing about,” McFarlane added.