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Police investigating suspicious poisoning deaths of animals in Eastern Shore area

Posted at 9:31 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 08:57:09-04

(WMAR) — The Maryland Natural Resources Police are asking the public for information on a series of poisoning events on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Police suspect that people are placing baits laced with carbofuran, one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides, in fields and in some cases inside of fox dens. This has led to the deaths of eagles, owls, and wild animals in the area. The USFWS believe that the person or persons responsible recklessly placed the poisoned baits making them more likely for any animal to find.

Officials report the first incident happened in March in Kent County near Route 445 and Swan Creek Road in Chestertown. They say the poisoning incident killed six bald eagles, a great horned owl, and caused injuries to other eagles who were later rescued. Officials believe the poisoning is similar to the intentional poisoning deaths of foxes, raccoons and other wild animals in the area.

Following that initial incident, on April 3 officers were called to a farm in Talbot County, near Lewistown Road and Colby Road in Cordova, where they found three bald eagles suffering from poisoning. Officials were able to determine the eagles ate a fox's dead body. One of the eagles died and two of them were treated for poisoning.

Carbofuran, also known as Furadan, is known to be particularly toxic to birds. A single grain often mistaken as seeds can kill a bird.

The USFWS and NRP are urging anyone with relevant and specific information to come forward.