A bald eagle suffering from lead poisoning was rescued by a concerned citizen in Bend, OR — and is now safe and on the road to recovery, according to local news.

After several days of watching the young eagle appearing unable to fly and stranded in their pasture, the concerned citizen knew something was wrong. The rescuer brought the bird to Think Wild’s Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center, where the eagle’s lead toxicity test showed “over five times the clinical level” of lead in their system, according to the center. The eagle’s trouble with coordination and getting off the ground are both common neurological issues associated with lead toxicity.

“It is likely that the eagle recently fed on a carcass or prey animal that contained fragmented lead ammunition,” Think Wild said in a statement.

The eagle has been receiving medical care at the center, and appears to be improving. Think Wild provided a hopeful update on Facebook: the young bird’s blood lead levels went down dramatically, from 53.8 µg/dL to 9 µg/dL. While the bird still shows the negative effects of lead poisoning — such as sagging head and wings — the young eagle is eating without assistance and is trying to avoid being handled. These are hopeful signs of recovery, according to the rescue.

“We have moved the eagle to an outdoor enclosure to rebuild muscle and prepare for life back in the wild,” Think Wild wrote.

Lead toxicity in eagles can cause painful and severe damage to organs, muscles, bones, and the brain, and exposure is often lethal, according to Think Wild. Without intervention, this young bald eagle almost certainly would have died. Lethargy, lack of coordination, and trouble flying are all common symptoms of lead poisoning. If you see a bird that seems to be in danger or distress, contact your local wildlife rescue for advice on what to do.

Lead exposure is often linked to hunters and fishermen who use lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle. These lead-filled products are a threat to all wildlife and humans — and the danger is entirely preventable.

Lady Freethinker applauds the compassionate citizen who noticed the bird in distress and Think Wild for helping the eagle recover. Soon enough, the bald eagle is anticipated to be free to return to the wild, soaring through the sky.