Wildlife warning: Great horned owl recovering after being sickened by rat poisoning


A great horned owl is recovering after being sickened by rat poisoning, the New England Wildlife Center said. A local resident noticed the carnivore scavenging tomatoes and other vegetables from their garden and contacted the center. “While we encourage all of our patients and friends to explore a healthy diet, we knew that this was not a good sign for an obligate carnivore. We were able to capture him without incident and rushed him back to our Cape hospital,” the center said. When the bird was examined, it was determined he was emaciated and that his clotting time was significantly delayed – signs he was likely the victim of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosos, commonly known as rat poison. “This illness occurs when a predator eats a mouse or rat that has ingested the poison and as a result their blood stops clotting correctly,” the center said. “This can lead to systemic illness, and in severe cases can be fatal.”Luckily for the owl, wildlife experts can treat him and will likely be able to release him to the wild after a long rehabilitation and recovery. “Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Raptors all over our state are poisoned by SGARs every single day,” the center said. Earlier this year, a red fox was nursed back to health after also falling victim to rat poison. The center urges people to avoid poisons and explore other pest-control methods.

A great horned owl is recovering after being sickened by rat poisoning, the New England Wildlife Center said.

A local resident noticed the carnivore scavenging tomatoes and other vegetables from their garden and contacted the center.

“While we encourage all of our patients and friends to explore a healthy diet, we knew that this was not a good sign for an obligate carnivore. We were able to capture him without incident and rushed him back to our Cape hospital,” the center said.

When the bird was examined, it was determined he was emaciated and that his clotting time was significantly delayed – signs he was likely the victim of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosos, commonly known as rat poison.

“This illness occurs when a predator eats a mouse or rat that has ingested the poison and as a result their blood stops clotting correctly,” the center said. “This can lead to systemic illness, and in severe cases can be fatal.”

Luckily for the owl, wildlife experts can treat him and will likely be able to release him to the wild after a long rehabilitation and recovery.

“Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Raptors all over our state are poisoned by SGARs every single day,” the center said.

Earlier this year, a red fox was nursed back to health after also falling victim to rat poison.

The center urges people to avoid poisons and explore other pest-control methods.



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