Eagles in the ICU
Posted: March 1, 2023
These bald eagles ate something bad.
People found the birds beside a landfill near Minneapolis, Minnesota. The birds lay facedown in snow. They didn’t move.
Quick! Time for a bird rescue!
People rushed to help. Eleven eagles went to the intensive care unit (ICU) at the University of Minnesota Raptor Center.
Workers at the Raptor Center investigated. What could have happened to the birds? A little detective work revealed the answer. Someone dumped euthanized animals at the landfill. The birds probably ate parts of their carcasses.
To euthanize means to put an animal to death humanely. (People also call this “putting an animal down.”) That can be an act of kindness. It’s kind when an animal is suffering. It’s kind when an animal becomes too dangerous to people. But guess what’s not kind? Pitching euthanized animals in the landfill.
Rules say euthanized critters must be disposed of in a way that keeps other animals from scavenging them. Raptor Center workers think the dead animals had been euthanized using a drug called pentobarbital. That drug helps animals die peacefully. But it doesn’t help the animals that might eat what’s left of them.
Three of the majestic eagles have died. The Center’s executive director, Victoria Hall, thinks the other birds will recover.
Many want to help the eagles in the ICU. They give money to share the cost of their care.
Why? God wants us to work with excellence—even if we’re just taking out the garbage.