TWRA offering $10K reward for info involving bald eagle shooting
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of an adult bald eagle, about 14 miles east of Vonore.
A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for wounding the eagle, including $5,000 by The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.
The eagle was discovered around last Thanksgiving in Monroe County. An examination by a veterinarian at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital determined the had been shot.
The bald eagle has a white head and tail feathers but did survive the shooting and is recovering at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge.
"The bald eagle holds a special place in the heart of every American. It is our national emblem and a great symbol of pride and freedom. This crime is inexcusable and we intend to prosecute the responsible party to the fullest extent of the law," said Bo Stone, Special Agent in the Service's Knoxville, Tennessee, Office of Law Enforcement
Bald eagles historically ranged from Mexico to Alaska. Tennessee currently hosts about 190 breeding pairs, according to Scott Somershoe, ornithologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, both federal wildlife statutes. Violations of these statutes carry a maximum criminal penalty of up to $100,000 and/or one year in federal prison.
Anyone with information concerning the shooting of this eagle is asked to call Special Agent Bo Stone at (865) 692-4024, or Monroe County Wildlife Officer Joe Pike with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at (800) 262-6704 or (931) 484-9571.