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Wildlife Center: 2 Va. eagles sickened by lead

Saturday - 1/14/2012, 1:50pm  ET

One of the bald eagles being examiend at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. (Courtesy of the Wildlife Center of Virginia)

WAYNESBORO, Va. (AP) - The Wildlife Center of Virginia says it has treated two bald eagles in recent weeks suffering from lead poisoning.

The nonprofit center in Waynesboro says the birds were probably sickened by lead bullet fragments left in discarded entrails of deer and other animals.

The center's president, Ed Clark, tells the Daily Press of Newport News that the lead poisoning cases coincide with the state's deer hunting season.

Besides the eagles, other birds suffering from lead poisoning include a red-tailed hawk and a black vulture.

Scientists say lead is highly toxic to birds, especially bald eagles.

One hunting group said it doubts an eagle would descend upon carrion before a vulture.

The Wildlife Center treats injured animals found in the wild and nurses them back to health.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)