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Bald eagle likely tending to her nest when she was shot and killed, Ark. officials say

Bald Eagle nest at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. (Jessica Bolser/US Fish and Wildlife Service)

A mature, female bald eagle was likely tending to her nest when she was killed, according to a release from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

She was found dead near the nest in Drew County, Arkansas, on March 28, the release states.

Her body was taken to the veterinary staff at the Little Rock Zoo, officials said, and they “determined the preliminary cause of death as a gunshot wound.”

Arkansas wildlife officials have teamed up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate the bird’s death.

There is a reward of up to $6,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed the bald eagle, according to the news release.

If you have any additional information, contact the AGFC’s Stop Poaching Hotline at 800-482-9262. Your call will be confidential, the release states.

Bald eagles are federally protected by the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act that was enacted in 1940, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The Act provides criminal penalties for persons who ‘take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald eagle … (or any golden eagle), alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof,’” the department says.

To “take” a bald eagle includes shooting at, poisoning, wounding or killing the bird.

Violating this Act for the first time “can result in a fine of $100,000 ($200,000 for organizations), imprisonment for one year, or both,” according to the department. “Penalties increase substantially for additional offenses, and a second violation of this Act is a felony.”

In the Southeast Region, which includes Arkansas, bald eagles hatch and raise their young from November through April, according to the Bald Eagle Nesting Seasons fact sheet provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Their young begin “fledging,” or leaving the nest, from March through June.


© 2019 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)

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