$10,000 reward for information involving bald eagle shooting
Wounded eagle recovering
VONORE, TN — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of an adult bald eagle, about 14 miles east of Vonore, Tennessee. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for wounding the eagle, including $5,000 by The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust..
The eagle was discovered around last Thanksgiving in Monroe County, southwest of Knoxville, at the intersection of Mt. Pleasant Road (lower) and Citico Road. An examination by a veterinarian at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital determined that the eagle had been shot. The adult bald eagle with white head and tail feathers survived the shooting and is recovering at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It typically takes four to five years for an eagle to reach maturity and have adult plumage.
“The bald eagle holds a special place in the heart of every American,” said Bo Stone, Special Agent in the Service’s Knoxville, Tennessee, Office of Law Enforcement. “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.”
Bald eagles historically ranged from Mexico to Alaska. Tennessee currently hosts about 190 breeding pairs, according to Scott Somershoe, ornithologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. 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.
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 a maximum criminal penalty of up to $100,000 and/or one year in federal prison.
Anyone with information concerning the shooting of this eagle is asked to call Special Agent Bo Stone at (865) 692-4024, or Monroe County Wildlife Officer Joe Pike with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at (800) 262-6704 or (931) 484-9571.
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 www.tnwildlife.org.
Joe Pike, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
(800) 262-6704 or (931) 484-9571
Bo Stone, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Phil Kloer, USFWS
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.