More about lead, its dumb toxic to any living animal including humans. There's no organ in body what would excrete lead on a regular basis. Mammals do excrete lead through milk but for young organisms, lead is even more hazardous. There are some good pics and videos on http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/camp ... mages.html
(ps. those eagle and vulture patient pictures from Wildlife Center of Virginia where my patients also, and even doh we operated on the eagle 09-2530 to get the lead bullets out of her stomach, she did not make it afterwards, too much led had absorbed already. Its dumb hard to get them back!)
The big problem is if hunters leave their shot prey to nature or the part of animal what the bullet traveled through, it will be eaten by other animals and they will get lead toxicosis and die. After that other animals come to eat the dead animal and will ingest tissues contaminated or fragments of lead and will end up getting toxicosis and so on and on. It kills silently a lot and we don't even know how much! Field study's show that with active surveillance for dead corpses we recover under 1% of dead animals what have been left in a study area so we always actually work wit the tip of the iceberg.
Now if i go back kin time in the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 there where lot of dead eagles found in Estonia and two of them where set to Finnish lab to determinate the causes of death.
White-tailed eagle, juvenile, male, weight 3,75 kg, found dead in Valma, Viljandimaa, Estonia, 14.1.2009,
Sepsis (systemic inflammation) caused by bacterium Streptococcus dysgalactiae ssp. equisimilis.
Mild parasitic pneumonia.
Sarcocystis sp. (protozoan parasite) in heart muscle.
Lead pellets in abdominal air sac wall
Lead concentrations of liver and kidney below toxic level.
White-tailed eagle, adult, female, weight 4.9 kg, found dead in Lindi, Pärnumaa, Estonia, 9.1.2009,
Necrotic enteritis caused by the bacteria Clostridium perfringens type A and Escherichia coli.
Visceral gout (accumulation of urate in the organs due to renal failure).
Lead pellets in oesophagus and gizzard.
Lead concentrations of liver and kidney above toxic level.
Yes.. there is a problem and we have collected quite few dead eagles over the years (I have around 10 and Eagleclub has some more) so what I will be working with those upcoming year to determinate the causes of death. I do know that some of them have lead bullets in their stomachs :(