TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – E14, the eaglet in the viral Southwest Florida Eagle Cam died earlier this year after ingesting rat poison, a necropsy revealed.
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife Inc. (CROW) said they found high levels of brodifacoum, otherwise known as rat poison, in the eaglet’s liver.
CROW says eagles, hawks, owls and other predators often hunt rats for food, and that rats that have ingested the poison can pass it through the food chain.
Rat poison can cause toxicity and illness in eagles and other animals and prevent the blood from clotting, causing an animal that has ingested a toxic amount to bleed to death. The Southwest Florida Eagle Cam previously reported seeing the eaglet bleeding, and CROW had previously cited a broken feather as its cause of death.
CROW said the eaglet’s parents, Harriet and M15, likely have chronic exposure to the poison, but aren’t suffering any ill effects because they’re larger in size.