A $2,500 reward is being offered for help identifying whoever shot and killed a protected bald eagle in Oregon earlier this month.
After receiving a tip, Oregon State Police found the bird in Lower Cow Creek in Douglas County in southwest Oregon. Now state police are asking for anyone with any information about the shooter to contact them, according to a state police Facebook post.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is offering the reward for information that could lead to the criminal conviction of anyone involved in the shooting.
The dead bird was found by troopers from the Oregon State Police’s fish and wildlife division on November 7. The police posted a photo of the bird lying face down in the creek.
An examination by the troopers and staffers from wildlife rehabilitation group Umpqua Wildlife Rescue determined the eagle was shot. Investigators believe it had been killed one to two days before its death was reported.
The killing or possession of a bald eagle or its parts is illegal under federal law and is punishable by imprisonment of up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000, according to Oregon State Police.
Once endangered by hunting, pesticides and lead poisoning, the bald eagle was removed from endangered animal lists in 2007 but is still protected under federal law.
The federal wildlife service is working with the Oregon Hunters Association TIP program to find whoever shot the eagle. The TIP program offers cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or citation linked to the unlawful taking or possession of wildlife.
The bald eagle is indigenous to North American and is the national bird of the United States. It was placed on Great Seal of the United States in 1782. But after a six-year dispute in Congress over what should be on the national emblem, the bald eagle was officially chosen in 1789 as the symbol of the new country.