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The Missouri Department of Conservation usually isn’t known for its investigative work. But right now, conservation officials have put their detective hats on in an effort to track down the person who recently killed a bird many Americans consider sacred. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.
The Bald Eagle is not only our nation’s symbol, but also an endangered species.
In February, a mature Bald Eagle was found wounded on a road in Lawrence County and was taken to the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield.
Missouri Conservation officials say the bird was fatally wounded by a shotgun blast and later had to be euthanized.
Andrew Barnes is a Missouri Conservation Agent.
He says it’s illegal to shoot a Bald Eagle, because the bird is protected under the Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
“The penalty can be a maximum of $100,000 fine plus up to a year in jail. That’s under the Eagle Protection Act. But if it’s under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it’s up to a $15,000 fine and six months incarceration,” Barnes said.
Barnes says most people know that the Bald Eagle is protected, so this is a rare occurrence.
He says the conservation department has started an investigation.
“The information that we have we not are releasing to the public, but we’re asking the public to step forward. If anybody knows anything at all, we’re just looking for information to build a case with,” Barnes said.
The Missouri Conservation Department is asking anyone with any information about the Bald Eagle shooting to call Andrew Barnes at 417-461-0668.
Also, the Missouri Department of Conservation has a toll-free hotline that number is 1-800-392-1111.
For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.