Bald Eagle Shot In Texas, Authorities Offer Reward For Information Leading To Arrest

A bald eagle was shot and critically injured in Chambers County, Texas, on Monday. According to reports, the bird was discovered in a pasture near Anahuac. Although it was not killed in the shooting, the eagle was ultimately euthanized due to the severity of its wounds. According to a statement posted on the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, the landowner contacted authorities immediately after discovering the bald eagle. Deputy Hector Gonzales, who was dispatched to the scene, said he was “able to gently capture the protected National Bird to transport it to medical experts.” [Image By Rob Francis/Shutterstock] Following a thorough examination, veterinarians at the Wildlife Center of Texas, Houston, determined the bald eagle was shot in the face at close range. As a result, the bird was blinded and sustained a severe injury to its beak. As reported by Palm Beach Post, the Wildlife Center of Texas was forced to euthanize the bald eagle to end its suffering. Wildlife Center Executive Director Sharon Schmalz confirmed the bird’s “beak was almost totally severed.” According to BaldEagleInfo.com, the bald eagle was chosen as the emblem of the United States of America on June 20, 1782. It is generally assumed that the bald eagle was chosen because the majestic bird is a symbol of freedom and strength. However, according to Maude M. Grant, who penned the Song of the American Eagle, the decision was informally made during one of the earlier battles of the Revolution. “… the noise of the struggle awoke the sleeping eagles on the heights and they flew from their nests and circled about over the heads of the fighting men, all the while giving vent to their raucous cries. ‘They are shrieking for Freedom,’ said the patriots.” In the 1700s, there were an estimated 500,000 bald eagles living in North America. However, by the 1970s the population had waned to the point of near extinction. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service, the decline of the bald eagle population was directly related to the use of a powerful insecticide called DDT. Bald eagle euthanized after being shot in Anahuac area.. Related Articles: https://t.co/id1pHjaXHm pic.twitter.com/b1aEICH4N5 — Texas News Updates (@texas_news_12) January 11, 2017 Conservation actions, including a federal ban on DDT and habitat preservation, have helped North America’s bald eagle population recover over the last 40 years. As a result, the iconic birds were removed from the list of endangered and threatened species in 2007. [Image By Lone Wolf Photography/Shutterstock] Although they are no longer endangered or threatened, bald eagles are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Migratory Bird Treaty acts. Therefore, injuring or killing a bald eagle is a federal crime. If convicted, the person or persons responsible for shooting the bald eagle in Texas could face a $250,000 fine and up to two years in prison. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking any information about the person or persons who shot the bald eagle in Texas. There are currently two rewards being offered by Chambers County Crime Stoppers and the Texas Wildlife Crime Stoppers “Operation Game Thief” task force totaling $2,000. According to a Facebook post by Guy Robert Jackson, “Crime Stoppers of Chambers County will pay $1,000 for a tip that leads to the arrest. A conviction is not needed to get paid for the tip. Bald Eagle, shot at Grouse Mountain. I have a long way to go, but I love seeing my progression. #photography #wildlife #PicOfTheDay #student pic.twitter.com/f9VBZVYVqO — Ginelle Cocks (@ginelle_c) October 25, 2016 As reported by WECT, another bald eagle was shot and injured in Pamlico County, North Carolina, last week. Rocky Point Cape Fear Raptor Center veterinarian Dr. Joni Seymour confirmed the bird was likely shot by “someone that was just shooting at anything that flew by or… someone that thought ‘let’s take this big bird out of the sky.’” Seymour said the bird was struck with between 20 and 30 pellets. Although he survived the shooting, the bald eagle underwent four surgeries to repair a fractured wing. Thankfully, the bald eagle shot in North Carolina is expected to survive and regain the ability to fly. However, the bald eagle shot in Texas simply could not be saved. [Featured Image By Adrian Nedelea/Shutterstock]

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