- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) - Wildlife officials say six turkey vultures were nearly killed in Marin County after being poisoned by a veterinary drug used to euthanize animals.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says Friday it confirmed the birds were poisoned with pentobarbital but the source of the drug remains unknown.

Pentobarbital is a drug used by veterinarians to euthanize pets and livestock.

Officials say wildlife - such as turkey vultures and eagles - can be poisoned if the remains of animal euthanized with the drug are not disposed of properly.

The agency says the vultures were brought to the WildCare Wildlife Hospital in San Rafael between July and October 2014 after they were found comatose and barely breathing.

Turkey vultures are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and California Fish and Game Code.

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