Bald eagle flies free of lead

Bird released near Longview after recuperating from poisoning

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photoJesse Serna holds the eagle in May at the care center. Before its release Friday, the bird was given "feather extensions," using feathers from other eagles, to replace its broken tail feathers.

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A young male bald eagle that was suffering from lead poisoning when he was rescued last May near Longview has been returned to the wild.The Audubon Society of Portland's Wildlife Care Center diagnosed his problem with a device that can detect lead in blood. The center's veterinary staff then started chelation treatment to cleanse the lead from the bird's system.

The care center's Lacy Campbell tells the Daily News of Longview that the bird has also been outfitted with a set of feather extensions from other eagles to help him fly since many of his tail feathers were broken.

Emaciated and lethargic when he was found, the healthy bird was released Friday at Willow Grove Park near Longview.