After more than a year of silence, another Imperial Eagle fell victim to poisoning, however, this time the story may have a happy end due to quick actions taken by national park rangers and veterinarians, and the bird will fully heal up and be released back to the wild.
Not one 12-month period passed without Imperial Eagles being found poisoned in the past ten years. Last November, conservationists started to hope that poisonings had halted. However, one year and six days after the discovery of the last poisoned Imperial Eagle, associates of the Körös-Maros National Park found a weakened eagle in Békés-county. The bird was taken to a local veterinarian following a standard procedure set up within the framework of “Conservation of Imperial Eagles in Hungary” Life+ project coordinated by MME. Following a few quick examinations, she was transferred to the Budapest ZOO to continue her treatment. Symptoms, shown by the eagle, let us suspect the use of a certain kind of illegal pesticide, therefore, she could receive proper antidote and respond to it well. Yesterday, during a veterinary check-up open for reporters the bird showed that she was in excellent condition weighing 3.4 kilograms and with no signs of the prior poisoning so she might be released next week.
“Tokaj” the poisoned Imperial Eagle (Footage: termeszetfilm.hu).
As of today, there have been altogether 77 poisoned Imperial Eagles, however, only 13 of them could be released after successful recuperation, since most of them died shortly after their discovery. Fortunately, rate of the successfully cured birds is increasing, formerly, it was around ten percent, and it reached 50 percent in the past two days. It is mainly due to that national park rangers and nationwide network of veterinarians led by the Budapest ZOO follow a standardized protocol in poisoning cases (protocols are available here www.parlagisas.hu).
The latest victim was named “Tokaj” after being ringed as a pullus near Tokaj-Hill in 2013, about 175 km north of where it was found poisoned.