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Bald eagle at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Neil Mishler, USFWS.

Reward offered for information about the shooting of a bald eagle in Cumberland county

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are investigating a shooting of a bald eagle in the Westel area of Cumberland County. A reward of up to $5,000.00 is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the eagle. In addition to the reward of $2,500, offered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has authorized up to $1,000, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has added an additional $1,000, and the American Eagle Foundation has agreed to provide $500 to make the reward total up to $5,000.

The eagle was discovered in Cumberland County near the Pineview Elementary School at the intersection of Price Loop and Walton Court. An examination by the University of Tennessee’s College Of Veterinary Medicine revealed that the eagle had been shot with a shotgun between the dates of March 20, and March 30, 2009. Due to the extent of the injuries, the eagle likely would not have been able to fly very far from where it had been shot.

The bald eagle was immature and mostly dark in color without the white head and white tail that people usually associate with the identification of a bald eagle.

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 1 year in federal prison.

Anyone with information concerning this eagle is asked to call Special Agent John Rayfield with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement in Nashville, Tennessee at (615)736-5532 or Cumberland County Wildlife Officer Casey Mullen with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at (931) 484-9571.

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 or“>.

The mission of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 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 states waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access.


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