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Poisoning the Food Chain

Posted on 25 September 2007 by Dawn Keller

Again today we admitted a raptor suffering from rodenticide poisoning. Unfortunately she died before arriving at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation's Barrington facility. She had hemorrhaged to death after eating a mouse that had eaten rodenticide (mouse or rat poison).

She was a beautiful bird, in perfect weight and feather condition. Her only flaws were the blood that filled her mouth and dripped onto her beautiful feathers and her skin color -both a direct result of hemorrhaging.

I wish I could tell you that this occurrence is rare. The truth is that we've admitted four hawks with rodenticide poisoning IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS ALONE! Only one of the four survived. Two were dead on arrival and one arrived too late for medication to reverse the anti-coagulative effects of rodenticide.

You can make a difference and help prevent secondary poisoning. If you use rodenticides (sold under many names), please switch to snap traps or live traps. (We do not recommend sticky traps since birds get caught in these traps even when they are used inside structures like garages.)

By the way, over the next several weeks we will be adding a section to our website regarding changes that everyone can make to reduce wildlife mortality. Stay tuned for more helpful information.

Dawn

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