The Wildlife Center of Virginia will release an adult bald eagle at the York River State Park at noon Wednesday.
The eagle was one of two bald eagles rescued from Mathews County on Nov. 15, according to a news release from the Wildlife Center. The eagles were found scavenging a deer carcass and were unable to stand and exhibiting neurological symptoms.
A wildlife rehabilitator triaged the eagles and they were driven to the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro.
Once there, the eagles, the 2,439th and 2,440th patients the center has seen this year, were given physical exams.
Poisoning was suspected, and lab results confirmed the presence of pentobarbital in the eagles' blood. The drug is mainly used by veterinarians to euthanize animals, the release says, and secondary pentobarbital poisoning of wildlife occurs when euthanized animals are not properly buried or disposed of.
In recent weeks, the two eagles have spent time in outdoor flight pens to build their strength and stamina. One eagle is ready to return to the wild, but the other will require more recovery time.
The release is free and open to the public. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.