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

Reward offered for information about bald eagle shooting in Tennessee

TIPTONVILLE, TN - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are investigating the shooting of a bald eagle in the Reelfoot area of Lake County.

A reward of up to $3,300 is offered to anyone for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the eagle. The reward is provided from contributions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Mid-South Raptor Center.

The eagle was discovered in Lake County approximately five miles north of Tiptonville, TN, close to the Mississippi River. The area is near the intersection of State Highway 22 and Cates Landing – New Markham Road. An examination by a veterinarian revealed that the eagle was shot with a rifle between the dates of March 24 and March 26, 2010. Due to the extent of the injuries, the eagle would not have been able to fly very far from where it had been shot. The eagle had part of its right wing amputated and is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Mid-South Raptor Center. This mature bald eagle sporting a familiar white head and tail will not fly again.

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 Matthew Bendele with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement in Memphis at (901) 380-3577 or Lake County Wildlife Officer Rob Dougherty with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at (800) 372-3928.

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 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 states waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access. To learn more go


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