'Highly-contagious' bird flu is killing bald eagles in Florida with at least 23 dead


Since the beginning of the recent bird flu outbreak, More than 20 million birds have been wiped out across the United States. At least 23 bald eagles have died in the state of Florida, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Trevor Zachariah, the director of veterinary programs at Brevard Zoo said:

We’ve been dealing with it the longest, so our local wildlife has been exposed to it the longest. I think that’s why the numbers are greater. Eagles naturally are both predators and scavengers. They do a fair bit of both. And when you have animals that pass from avian influenza disease, then the Eagles will take advantage of that opportunity for easy food and get exposed to the disease that way.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends residents to report any sick or dead eagle that doesn’t appear to have been injured and to keep their pet birds away from any wild species. Florida has one of the densest concentrations of nesting bald eagles in the lower 48 states, with an estimated 1,500 nesting pairs as per the latest data available. The bald eagle — the United States’ national bird — was lifted out of endangered status in 2007.

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