DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn. — Wildlife officers are hunting for the shooter who left a bald eagle for dead in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working together to investigate, offering a $2,500 reward for information.
At about 3 p.m. Monday, investigators learned that an eagle was injured off Martins Landing Road in Bath Springs.
Wildlife Officer Brant Luker made sure the eagle was brought to the North Madison Animal Hospital on Tuesday.
Veterinarians determined the eagle had been shot and its injuries incurable. The animal hospital euthanized the bird of prey.
Bald eagles were placed on the endangered species list in 1978, but conservation efforts helped the species recover. Bald eagles are no longer considered an endangered species but are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Those who violate these protection orders face a maximum criminal penalty of up to $100,000 and/or a year in federal prison. This does not include any possible state charges.
Bald eagles parent in pairs, meaning if one dies, the nest will likely fail, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the TWRA office at (731) 423-5725 or the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service at (615) 736-5532.