The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are investigating the shooting of a bald eagle in Haywood County. A reward of up to $5,000 is offered to anyone for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing the eagle. The Humane Society of the United States has matched the original $2,500 reward amount offered by the public agencies, bringing the total up to $5,000.
The bald eagle was discovered on May 4 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds located on Soco Road, U.S. Highway 19, in Maggie Valley. An examination revealed that the eagle had been recently shot and bullet fragments were removed from the carcass. The eagle was an immature bald eagle and lacked the characteristic adult white head and tail feathers.
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 maximum criminal penalties of up to $100,000 and/or one year in federal prison.
Anyone with information concerning this eagle is asked to call Special Agent Tom Chisdock with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement at (828) 258-2084 or Captain Greg Daniels with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at (828) 337-9425.