The bald eagle that was found poisoned on the ground of an Arlington cemetery died Tuesday night at a veterinary facility, officials said.
The raptor, known as “MK,” was receiving treatment at Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable after she ate a rodent that had ingested rodenticide.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Zak Mertz, chief executive of New England Wildlife Centers. “It’s been a pretty rough evening and morning for us here.”
The eagle had been in critical condition for several days when she suddenly hemorrhaged and began to bleed internally, the wildlife center wrote on Facebook. Veterinary staff, who were by her side around the clock, tried to revive her but were unsuccessful, Mertz said.
“With the poison in her system she did not have the ability to clot, and the bleeding was catastrophic and began to occlude her airway,” the Facebook post read.
The eagle had been in the facility’s care since Monday morning after it was found in the cemetery, unable to fly and barely able to stand.
The beloved eagle hatched in 2016 and frequented the Mystic River watershed with her mate “KZ,” building a loyal following over the years, Mertz said. A vigil for the eagle will be held Thursday afternoon in front of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum in Arlington.
Rodenticide poisoning in raptors has become more common in urban areas, Mertz said. The poison is often fatal for birds, and can hinder natural pest-control processes, he said. Healthy raptors consume around 2,000 rodents per year.
“The message we’re trying to put out is that there are safer ways for rodent control that don’t come at the expense of eagles,” Mertz said.
Mertz encouraged those looking to help to donate to nonprofits like the New England Wildlife Center and reach out to legislators to support rodenticide restrictions.
“We hope her case will serve as a true wake-up call for people to stop using [rodenticides], and will ultimately lead to true systemic change,” the center wrote in the post.
Kate Armanini can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @KateArmanini.