Apr. 14th, 2017

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The saddest turkey vulture I have ever seen came in to the raptor center last week. They tried twice to do a blood test for lead poisoning, but the machine just said ERROR. So they took another sample and sent it over to CSU. Their machine said, even for a turkey vulture, that is a lethal lead level. For a bald eagle, 0.2 ppm of lead in the blood is toxic, 1 ppm is lethal. Turkey vultures are tougher, but this bird's blood had 11.8 ppm of lead.

For lead poisoning, we do chelation. It takes I think seven weeks. For a level that high, we're definitely going to have to do it more than once. While that's going on, we have to try to keep the bird's organs from shutting down.

As long as the bird keeps telling us I ATEN'T DEAD YET we'll keep working.

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