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Mon Apr 15, 2019, 07:12 PM

Lead kills 1st Yellowstone golden eagle fitted with tracker

Mead Gruver, Associated Press Updated 5:37 pm CDT, Monday, April 15, 2019

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) The first golden eagle in Yellowstone National Park fitted with a tracking device has died of lead poisoning, likely after consuming bullet fragments while scavenging the remains of an animal killed by a hunter, officials said Monday.

Wearing a GPS unit like a backpack, the adult, female eagle had flown outside Yellowstone into areas where hunters pursue game such as elk and deer.

The death of the bird was a setback for golden eagle research in Yellowstone but not the end. Several other golden eagles at the park have been fitted with tracking devices.

"It's a little gut-wrenching because it's so darn hard to trap and tag an eagle, and it's frustrating for the graduate student who's leading the project," said eagle scientist Todd Katzner with the U.S. Geological Survey in Boise, Idaho.


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