The tragic deaths of 13 bald eagles have been attributed to carbofuran, a deadly pesticide. Though the pesticide is banned for food crop use, some individuals may still possess it in outdated containers. These majestic birds, including juveniles, were found dead in Maryland’s eastern shore in 2016.
Despite a six-month investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the responsible party remains unidentified. Experts believe the pesticide was used to target animals that consume plants or livestock.
Carbofuran’s toxicity is alarming, with even a single granule capable of killing small birds. Its effects are agonizing, causing muscle cramps, excessive salivation, vomiting, and even unconsciousness. The CDC warns it can prompt lungs to secrete fluids, leading to drowning.
Necropsies on six eagles and a raccoon revealed carbofuran ingestion. A theory suggests that one eagle may have carried the poisoned raccoon to the farm, where others feasted on it, leading to their deaths.
The incident underscores the dangers of using banned pesticides and raises concerns about their potential presence in the environment.