Bald Eagle Shot And Left For Dead May Never Fly Again
A bald eagle that was shot and left for dead over the weekend, February 22-23, may never fly again.
The bird of prey was found in a pool of water and suffering from a gunshot wound along state highway 10 in Miami, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation confirmed.
Officials initially failed to catch the injured animal because the water made the rescue more difficult. Luckily, however, fisheries technician Kendel Robbins was nearby and jumped into the cold water to wade out and rescue the bird.
The Bald Eagle was then rushed to the Tulsa Zoo, where veterinarian doctors treated its injuries and determined they were caused by a gunshot.
The veterinarians told Oklahoma officials the animal had ‘a good chance of survival’, although odds it would be able to fly again were ‘slim’, they said.
A post on the Oklahoma Game Wardens Facebook page urged anybody who has information about the eagle’s injuries to contact Oklahoma Game Warden Jason Adair on (918)533-2679 or the Operation Game Thief Hotline on 1-800-522-4572.
Tipsters can remain anonymous, and officials are also offering a potential reward if a person’s information leads to a conviction for this crime.
The Bald Eagle was removed from the federal endangered species list in 2007 following the Endangered Species Act, which banned DDT – a pesticide that caused the bird’s numbers to plummet – and saw a huge increase in the birds’ numbers.
While the animal – which has been the US National Symbol since 1782 – is no longer an endangered species thanks to these conservation efforts, individuals can still be imprisoned and fined for harming, shooting or capturing the animals.
This is because they are protected by a number of state and federal laws, including the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits the take, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import of any bald or golden eagle – alive or dead.
‘Take’ includes pursuing, shooting, shooting at, poisoning, wounding, killing, capturing, trapping, collecting, molesting or disturbing Bald or Golden Eagles.
Violating provisions of the Act can see individuals get fined up to $5,000 or be imprisoned for one year, with felony convictions carrying a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years imprisonment.
This hasn’t stopped people from attempting to capture or kill the birds though, as can be seen with this tragic story.
Hopefully those responsible will be caught and brought to justice.
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CreditsOklahoma Game Wardens/Facebook and 1 other
Oklahoma Game Wardens/Facebook
American Bird Conservancy