Charges could be filed after discovery of sick bald eagles

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. -- Animal rescue workers at West Sound Wildlife Center saved the lives of six bald eagles found in terrible shape over the weekend.

Six teams of vets and volunteers - one per eagle - got right to work.

"The vets had to give him atropine to get his heart going a little bit more because he was almost dead," said Mike Pratt.

Good Samaritans spotted the sick birds in a field in Lewis County.

"(The eagles) would be dead in the field if nobody helped them," Pratt said.

Pratt says local wildlife centers rushed to help and alerted the feds. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife figured out the eagles ate off two horse carcasses left in the field.

"The horses are euthanized usually with a chemical, sodium phenobarbital and that goes through the entire blood system," Pratt said.

That's the clue they needed to treat the eagles. Each eagle needed a good dose of antidote.

"We didn't have enough of the medication of the toxiban," said Lisa Harm. "So we had to locate that from the fire department to have that here for that may birds."

It is illegal to not properly dispose of livestock carcasses. An investigation into how and why those carcasses were left continues and charges may be filed. If charged and convicted, the person who left the carcasses, could be fined and sentenced to one year in jail.

"For me it's very, very saddening because this is something that could have been prevented," Pratt said.

With their health really on the mend right now, the hope is that at least one, if not all of the eagles will be released back in the wild by the end of this week.