LITTLE ROCK, AR (News Release) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are seeking information on the shooting of a bald eagle that was found on Arkansas Highway 10 in Pulaski County. The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, the AGFC and the USFWS are offering a reward of up to $7,500 for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible.
On Jan. 31, a bald eagle was found dead in the 36500 block of Highway 10. The eagle had a large caliber bullet entrance and exit wound. Evidence recovered at the scene shows that a high caliber rifle was used and a vehicle had stopped on the shoulder of the highway near the eagle. It is believed that the shooting occurred on or before Jan. 31. Enforcement officers believe it is likely that the shooter was not alone and witnesses may have seen the vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
AGFC Director Mike Knoedl said he felt confident the shooter would be found. “Our officers are highly-trained for these types of situations, but they need help from the public to help catch the culprits,” Knoedl said.
Glen Pye, special agent for USFWS, said that shooting a bald eagle undermines important efforts to protect our national symbol. “We are very interested in any information regarding this illegal act,” Pye said.
Desiree Bender, Arkansas legislative director for The HSUS, said: “This is the third time recently that a bald eagle has been shot and left to suffer, with blatant disregard for federal law. We are thankful the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are taking these crimes seriously and for their determination to bring the offenders to justice.”
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 should call Special Agent Glen Pye with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 501-772-8010 or the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 800-482-9262. Persons providing information may remain anonymous.