Rescuers Capture Bald Eagle Believed to Be Critically Sickened by Rat Poison

Andrew Joslin and Linda Amato of Cape Ann Wildlife had to capture a bald eagle Monday in a cemetery in Arlington, Massachusetts; the bird of prey will undergo intense treatment

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UPDATE (Wednesday, March 1, 1:28 p.m.): The bird has died, according to the Cape Wildlife Center.

A life-and-death chase unfolded Monday morning in a cemetery in Arlington, Massachusetts.

A sick bald eagle needed to be captured by wildlife experts in order to survive a likely case of poisoning.

The eagle had been showing signs of poor health since Friday and could no longer fly.

"Her head was drooping and by Sunday she was on the ground and unable to get back up into the tree or back up to her nest," said wildlife rescue expert Andrew Joslin.

Joslin and Linda Amato from Cape Ann Wildlife were called in to make the capture.

"Her talons are extremely sharp," said Amato, a volunteer with Cape Ann Wildlife. "The beak is not something you want to feel on your face. You're on alert so it can't get away from you, their wings are very large, very powerful."

The team was eventually able to encircle the bald eagle, make a move and grab her by the legs.

She's about 8 years old and experts believe she likely ate a rat that had ingested rat poison — something that's becoming a big problem for birds who prey on rodents.

"Eagles are scavengers," said Joslin. "They will pick up a dead rat and eat it."

Wildlife advocates say rat poison is killing other animals at an alarming rate.

The bald eagle, known as M.K., will now undergo intense treatment.

In the meantime, wildlife experts are also worried about her mate.

"We feel terrible," said Amato. "He's looking for her, these eagles mate for life, he's very much missing his mate."

M.K. is in critical condition. If she survives the next couple of days, there's a good chance she can be rehabilitated and brought back to her home in the cemetery.

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