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Kiski the bald eagle, who aided recovery of species in Pa., succumbs to lead poisoning

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, 6:42 p.m.
This bald eagle, rescued from along the Roaring Run Trail in Kiski Township, was found to have lead poisoning. The bird is at least 30 years old.
Courtesy of the Humane Animal Rescue Wildlife Center
This bald eagle, rescued from along the Roaring Run Trail in Kiski Township, was found to have lead poisoning. The bird is at least 30 years old.
A wildlife rehabilitator and volunteers at Tamarack Wildlife Center  in Saegertown examine Kiski the bald eagle, who was found along the Roaring Run Trail in Kiski Township, Armstrong County.
Courtesy of Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center
A wildlife rehabilitator and volunteers at Tamarack Wildlife Center in Saegertown examine Kiski the bald eagle, who was found along the Roaring Run Trail in Kiski Township, Armstrong County.

A bald eagle being treated for lead poisoning has died.

Nicknamed Kiski, after where it was found along the Kiski River in Kiski Township, the 30-year-old male bird was being treated at the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Saegertown last week.

The center announced his death Sunday.

"It is with a heavy heart we share that Kiski, the 30-year-old bald eagle in treatment for lead poisoning, has passed," the center said on Facebook.

"He had an amazing life. Banded as a young bird in 1987, he was father to many eaglets and helped repopulate eagles in our state. Officials believe he was brought from Saskatchewan for reintroduction efforts, at a time when there were only three nests of eagles in PA. He will be missed."

Lead poisoning is among the leading causes of death for bald eagles in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The game commission has teamed up with New York state to study the causes of the lead poisoning.

Most research points to lead from hunters' ammunition.

Kiski's lead poisoning was caused by a metal object in his stomach, something he had eaten recently, according to Carol Holmgren, executive director of the Tamarack wildlife center.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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