Target: Deborah Robbins Millman, Cape Wildlife Center Director
Goal: Commend wild animal rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation education efforts that help to save wildlife from lead poisoning.
It is estimated that ten to twenty million animals from more than 130 species die from lead poisoning in the United States each year. Wild animals become poisoned by ingesting prey that has been wounded by lead ammunition, gutpiles that have not been discarded, or from eating an animal that has died from poisoning. Sometimes animals mistake discarded ammunition or lead fishing sinkers for food.
Lead poisoning causes neurological issues, muscle weakness, and slow painful death as the toxins in the lead slowly release into the animal’s bloodstream. The oxygen levels of the animal’s red blood cells are affected as the lead permeates tissues such as the liver and bones. Animals are rarely rescued before the poisoning is too advanced. The ones who are rescued in time must undergo lengthy and risky treatment to remove all of the toxins.
Fortunately, Cape Wildlife Center, a nonprofit licensed wildlife rehabilitation organization in Massachusetts, has devoted great efforts to treat animals poisoned by lead. The organization also promotes conservation by educating the public about the negative impact that lead has on wildlife. The rehabilitation center is open 365 days a year and is run by staff, volunteers, and externs. Emergency care is provided to various species affected by lead poisoning, including hawks, swans, and owls. These animals fulfill important ecological niches.
Treatment is time intensive and requires close monitoring of highly stressed animals. The animals enter the rehabilitation process which involves many stages in order to ensure that they can successfully forage and defend themselves in the wild. Cape Wildlife Center encourages people to use lead-free ammunition and fishing sinkers in order to save wildlife.
Please sign this petition to thank Cape Wildlife Center for compassionately coming to the aid of animals poisoned by lead, and for educating the community and offering solutions regarding this issue.
Dear Deborah Robbins Millman,
I would like to commend your organization’s compassionate hard work providing emergency medical care and rehabilitation to animals that have been poisoned by lead. Wildlife rehabilitation is an elaborate and time-consuming process that gives animals a second chance. The specialized knowledge and skills possessed by your dedicated staff and volunteers enable suffering animals to receive appropriate treatment.
Educating the public about the negative impact that lead ammunition and fishing sinkers have on wildlife is crucial in order to prevent future harm. The information that you deliver to the public allows them to make choices that will save wildlife and benefit the community. Protecting predatory and scavenging animals from lead helps to maintain ecosystem health characterized by balance and biodiversity. I thank the Cape Wildlife Center for engaging the community in stewardship over their shared natural resources.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bill Powell via Flickr