$22,000 Reward for Information Involving Bald Eagle Shootings ($11,000 per eagle/responsible subject)
May 21, 2013
- Hamilton County Wildlife Officer Joe McSpadden, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, (800) 262-6704
- Monroe County Wildlife Officer Joe Pike, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, (800) 262-6704
- Bo Stone, (865) 692-4024, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bo_Stone@fws.gov
- Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of two (2) bald eagles in eastern Tennessee. A reward of up to $22,000 ($11,000 per eagle/ responsible subject) is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting these eagles.
SODDY-DAISY --- Sometime during the last week of March, 2013, an injured bald eagle was found on the northern end of Chickamauga Lake along the Tennessee River in Hamilton County near Thatch Road Gravel Boat Ramp and just south of Eldridge Slough. An examination by a veterinarian at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital determined the eagle had been shot. This was a mature bald eagle with a white head and white tail feathers. It survived the shooting and is recovering at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
MADISONVILLE --- Sometime during the first week of May, 2013, a second injured bald eagle was found in the area of Tellico Lake along the Tellico River arm in Monroe County. It was found on Scenic River Road where it crosses the land bridge approximately 3.4 miles from the intersection of Ball Play Road and 1/10 of a mile from the Clear Water Cove Subdivision. An examination by a veterinarian at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital determined the eagle had been shot. It survived the shooting and is recovering at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This was a juvenile bald eagle and it did not have the white head and tail feathers recognized with adult bald eagles. It had mottled dark brown feathers overlaid with a few messy white streaked feathers. It typically takes an eagle 4-5 years to reach maturity and have adult plumage.
Bald Eagles historically ranged from Mexico to Alaska. Tennessee currently hosts about 180 breeding pairs, according to Scott Somershoe, Ornithologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It typically takes four or five years for bald eagles to mature but many do not start breeding until they are much older. They may live 15 to 25 years in the wild. Their primary diet is fish, so most bald eagles are found near rivers and lakes.
“The Bald Eagle holds a special place in the heart of every American. It is our national emblem and a great symbol of pride and freedom. This crime is inexcusable and we intend to prosecute the responsible party to the fullest extent of the law.” said Bo Stone, Special Agent in the Service’s Knoxville, Tennessee, Office of Law Enforcement.
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 these cases is asked to call Special Agent Bo Stone at (865) 692-4024, or Hamilton County Wildlife Officer Joe McSpadden or Monroe County Wildlife Officer Joe Pike with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at (800) 262-6704.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of American people. Visit the Service’s websites at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/ or http://www.fws.gov/
The mission of the TWRA is to preserve, conserve, protect, and enhance the fish and wildlife of the state and their habitats for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the citizens of Tennessee and its visitors. The Agency will foster the safe use of the state's waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access. To learn more go to http://www.tnwildlife.org.
Reward monies for this investigation were donated by the American Eagle Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.