CHERRY VALLEY, Ark. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are conducting a joint investigation into the death of a mature bald eagle found in Cross County on Feb. 21.
The dead eagle was found on County Road 220, north of Cherry Valley. The eagle was initially examined by veterinary staff at Cross County Veterinary Clinic in Wynne, where the preliminary cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound. The eagle will be transferred to a wildlife forensics laboratory for additional testing.
A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation has stepped up to match that reward, adding another $2,500 for information that leads to a conviction.
Col. Greg Rae, AGFC Chief of Enforcement, said, “Shooting a bald eagle is an act of pure hate and discontent for what the magnificent creature stands for to us in Arkansas and across the country. It’s not an accident, it’s not a sport, it is a criminal act pure and simple and one we will do all within our collaborative resources to solve.”
Although bald eagles are no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act, they are still federally protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Maximum fines under these acts are $100,000 and $15,000 respectively, with possible imprisonment up to one year.
Anyone with information involved in this case is encouraged to contact the AGFC’s Stop Poaching Hotline at 800-482-9262. All calls to the hotline will be kept confidential.