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Secondary toxicity threatening local wildlife

A local wildlife center is warning about the dangers of rat and mouse poison in birds.

Posted: Sep 26, 2019 9:48 AM
Updated: Sep 26, 2019 10:11 AM

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Something you might be doing to get rid of mice and other rodents may actually be doing more harm than you think. Now, a local wildlife center is warning about the dangers of rat and mouse poison in birds.

Secondary toxicity happens when birds of prey eat mice or other rodents who have been poisoned.

Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center CEO Carol Blacketer said rodents tend to be on the move this time of year, but trying to keep them out of your home with poison is a bad idea.

"We can try to treat, but often times these animals are found already deceased or on their way to being dead," she said.

She said she's already had birds come in with symptoms, and the poison makes them even more vulnerable to younger birds on the hunt.

"They're taking out the mice and the moles and the voles and the shrews and the rats that are weak or sick," said Blacketer. "Those are easy pickings for the young birds."

Mammals like foxes are also at risk of secondary toxicity. Blacketer reccomends using old fashioned snap traps to kill unwanted rodents, but said there are plenty of other non-toxic options available in stores.

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