A protected bald eagle was gunned down in Oregon earlier this month — and officials are offering a $2,500 reward for help identifying whoever is responsible.
Acting on a tip, fish and wildlife troopers from the Oregon State Police found the bird’s carcass lying face down in Lower Cow Creek, within Douglas County in the southwest part of the state, on Nov. 7 around 9 a.m., officials said in a statement.
Investigators determined that the national bird had been fatally shot with a firearm — and was dead for up to two days before someone reported it, police said.
Now the US Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward up to $2,500 for any information leading to a criminal conviction for the shooting of the iconic bird of prey.
The bald eagle is protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
As of 2007, the bald eagle is no longer considered endangered, but it is still protected under federal law.
Anyone who kills a bald eagle, or possesses the bird or its parts, is in violation of both acts — punishable by up to a year behind bars and a potential fine of $100,000.
The bald eagle is indigenous only to North America and was selected as the national bird of the US in 1782.
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