‘Iconic’ protected creature euthanized after being found shot in Utah. Reward offered

A nonprofit is offering a reward after a bald eagle had to be euthanized after being found with a gunshot wound through its wing, Utah officials say.

The injured bald eagle was found in Cedar City on Feb. 29, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said in an April 9 news release.

The bird had been “shot through the wing with what appeared to be a rifle,” officials said.

Given the severity of its injuries, officials said they determined the eagle would not recover from its injury and needed to be euthanized.

The Center for Biological Diversity is offering a $10,000 reward for any information about the shooting of “the iconic bird of prey,” according to an April 11 news release from the nonprofit.

“It’s a tragedy that this majestic bald eagle was senselessly gunned down, and the perpetrator needs to be brought to justice,” Patrick Donnelly, a director with the center, said in the release.

The species is protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which was enacted in 1940 and prohibits anyone “from killing bald or golden eagles or taking their parts, including feathers, nests or eggs,” officials said.

If identified, officials said the person behind this bald eagle’s shooting could potentially face a “third-degree felony charge of wanton destruction of protected wildlife.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact wildlife officials at 435-310-0238.

Cedar City is about a 250-mile drive southeast from Salt Lake City.

Bald eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Bald eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

What to know about bald eagles

“Bald eagles are the only eagles unique to North America, and they have been a major success story in American conservation,” according to the nonprofit.

In 2007, bald eagles were removed from the endangered list in 2007, “a testament to the power of the Endangered Species Act,” the nonprofit said.

Despite their population rebound, the nonprofit said the creatures “still face many threats.”

The species is native to North America, and “their range extends from the Mexico border through the United States and Canada,” according to the National Wildlife Federation.

While “they can be seen year-round in Alaska, along the East and West coasts, the Rocky Mountains, and the Mississippi River,” the nonprofit said they are only seen in other parts of the United States “during the winter and their migration.”

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