Update: The Eastern Shore Bald Eagle was moved to the largest of the Wildlife Center’s three outdoor raptor enclosures on Wednesday for further recovery and rehabilitation. The eagle is in Enclosure A-3.
Four bald eagles were killed by lead poisoning on the Eastern Shore.
Art and Leslie Shears got out of their car Friday afternoon and found an eagle struggling in a ditch.
"They just opened up their beaks, spread their wings, and tried to hop away. You could tell he wasn't going to fly," said Art Shears of Birdsnest.
They drove home, just a half mile away, to call Shore Wildlife Rehab, only to find a second bald eagle in a cemetery.
Kathy Cummings came to the rescue, she spotted a family of three more eagles laying lifeless in the field behind some woods.
Cummings rushed to take the living eagles to the vet.
With one eagle in a crate in the back, she held the other one in her lap, all while driving stickshift.
"And then I just reached over like this to shift the gears and then steer," said Kathy Cummings of Shore Wildlife Rehab.
The two living eagles were taken to Eastern Shore Animal Hospital. Unfortunately one of them didn't make it and died within a couple hours.
All of them were taken to Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, where they're being studied.
The survivor had metal particles in its digestive system.
Since getting treatment, the eagle has been a little brighter and more alert according to the Wildlife Center's website. The bird will undergo additional testing.
The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is now investigating how the birds were poisoned.
Right now, it's too early to tell whether it was intentionally done or if they ate something deadly.
"They were beautiful animals, it was upsetting to see them hurt and dead," said Shears.
Stay with NewsChannel 3 for more updates.