A bald eagle named Ladybird was photographed by DNR after dying at MToxins.
A bald eagle has died at MToxins Venom Lab and owner Nathaniel Frank has been fined by the DNR for falsifying records to hide her death.
MToxins Venom Lab is a roadside zoo in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, operating out of a converted hardware store. The majority of the animals at MToxins live their entire lives in tiny enclosures completely indoors.
In 2020, Frank obtained a bald eagle he named "Ladybird" from Raptor Education Group in Antigo. Ladybird was hit by a vehicle and considered non releasable. Frank told media at that time that Ladybird could live 45 years or longer.
Sadly, Ladybird only lasted two years, tethered to a perch, with no access to the outdoors at MToxins. An anonymous complaint indicates that in October or November 2022, Ladybird died. Documents indicate Frank falsified records to hide her death.
The anonymous tipster reported that the eagle, which is a state and federally protected species, was killed by a sloth. Frank told DNR officials the eagle “got wrapped up in her mew” and died. Frank was keeping the eagle corpse in a freezer that he and his employees refer to as the “freezer of death.”
“A f–king complaint,” Frank says in a DNR recording. “I’m f–king irate right now. I’m trying really hard not to lose my shit.”
Earlier this year, Frank announced he was shutting down MToxins. He later said the shoddy storefront will remain open through the summer. The MToxins location has since been listed for sale.
Documents indicate that the anonymous caller also reported that several venomous snakes have escaped from MToxins and some of them were never recovered. Frank admitted to officials that his sloth had escaped from his or her enclosure.
The DNR investigation revealed that Frank submitted his annual paperwork in February 2023, four months after the eagle died, and listed her as still alive.
A DNR inspector visited MToxins in March and questioned Frank about falsifying documents in relation to the eagle's death. The DNR also photographed Ladybird and noted that she had some roughed feather areas and her beak had some trauma.
Frank told officials that he didn't report the eagle's death to state or federal officials because he was getting another one. This appears to be an admission that had Frank not been caught, he would have obtained another eagle to replace Ladybird and likely never would have reported the eagle's death.
Frank was issued a Natural Resources Citation and ordered to pay a fine of $238. It is unclear if federal officials will take any action against Frank for failing to disclose the eagle's death.