Conservation Officers Offer Reward After Bald Eagle Shot in Southern Indiana
A reward has been offered after Indiana conservation officers say a bald eagle was shot and killed in the southern part of the state.
Bald Eagle Killed in Southern Indiana
Conservation officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources say that a bald eagle was found to have been shot and killed in Dubois County. According to the Indy Star, it is believed that the shooting took place between 2 pm and 3:30 pm on Saturday, February 25th. The officer investigating told the Indy Star that after collecting the bird, he took it to a vet to be examined. It was at that time that he was informed the eagle had shrapnel in its body indicative of having been shot with a firearm of some kind.
Where Was the Eagle Shot and Found?
The eagle was found about 150 feet off County Road 300 in Dubois County, just northeast of the city of Jasper. Conservation officers say that it is a heavily traveled stretch of roadway and are asking the public to help in the investigation. They are offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Bald Eagles are a Protected Species
It is not uncommon to see bald eagles in the southern part of Indiana. The eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782, and the birds are a protected species, not just in Indiana but across the country. The Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act was enacted in 1940. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service website,
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 (including feathers), nest, or egg thereof."
The Act defines "take" as "pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb." Regulations further define "disturb" as “to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, 1) injury to an eagle, 2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or 3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior" (50 CFR 22.6).
Have Information About the Eagle Killed in Southern Indiana?
If you have any information about the shooting of the bald eagle in Dubois County, you are asked to contact the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement District 7 headquarters by calling 812-789-9538 or use the toll-free tip line by calling 1-800-TIP-IDNR (800-847-4367).