On his first day on the job, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke caved to pressure from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and overturned an Obama Administration policy banning lead ammunition.
Lead is a neurotoxin that is a particular problem for vultures and other scavengers which are poisoned when they eat carcasses of animals that have been shot with lead bullets. In 2016, a pair of California condors hatched a chick
in Zion National Park, but the chick died after one of its parents was killed by lead poisoning.
Mr. Zinke, did you know that the California condor has a 60-year lifespan if protected from poachers and lead bullets? It is one of the rarest birds on earth. With a wingspan of almost 10 feet, it is North America’s largest land bird. It became extinct in the wild in 1987; the 27 remaining birds were bred in captivity and offspring reintroduced in Zion and the Grand Canyon in 1991.
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