A bald eagle was shot and killed in southern Indiana over the weekend, and authorities are seeking the public’s help to find the person who pulled the trigger.
The national bird of the United States since 1782, the bald eagle is no longer endangered but is still legally protected under three different federal acts. Violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act could lead to a felony conviction that carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and two years in prison.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said an award is available for information that leads to the arrest of the person who killed the bald eagle. It was found alive with a gunshot wound on Dec. 20 on the south side of the White River near Dixie Highway in Lawrence County, which is located in the south central region of the state. The bald eagle later died from the wound.
In a Facebook post, the Indiana DNR asked anyone with information about the bird’s death to contact Indiana Conservation Officers’ Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or their anonymous tip line at 1-800-TIPIDNR.
The post did not indicate how old the bald eagle was. The birds can live up to 38 years in the wild and can fly up to 100 miles per hour when diving for prey, according to the Indiana DNR. Bald eagles nested in Indiana before the 1890s and were introduced into the state a century later.
In 2018, 258 nests were spotted throughout Indiana, and at least 181 chicks were raised, according to the state’s Wildlife Science Report. Bald eagles nested in 85 of Indiana’s 92 counties.
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