Maryland YC maintenance manager Ernie Jenkins was opening the fuel dock early Sunday morning when he heard splashing sounds coming from the water. Upon further examination, he found a half-drowned bald eagle floundering in the shallow water. He quickly fished the bird out and set it on the dock, where the large bird of prey exhibited few attempts to escape.
Jenkins called the Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Newark, DE, who took the exhausted bird in for testing. Bird 2237 as he is formally known was learned to be a five-year old male suffering from lead poisoning and a respiratory infection. The lead poisoning, which is often the result of ingesting animals that have previously suffered gunshot wounds, can cause brain damage and makes the birds particularly subdued. The bird is currently being treated with chelation therapy, which involves an intravenous application of chelation agents to remove the heavy metals from the body. The bird’s condition was listed as poor, and the therapy has an inherent risk of death, but the bird’s veterinarians remain hopeful.
“If he turns for the worst at least I tried. I gotta try you know, but I would love to see him back. I would love to see him back,” Jenkins told CBS News.