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A bald eagle in flight at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Tom Koerner, USFWS.

Eagle shooting

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of an bald eagle in east 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.

The eagle was discovered around last Thanksgiving in Monroe County, southwest of Knoxville, at the intersection of Mt. Pleasant Road 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.

Bald eagles historically ranged from Mexico to Alaska, and once endangered, they were taken off the federal endangered species list in 2007. Tennessee currently hosts about 190 breeding pairs.

Bald eagles are still 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 officer Joe Pike with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at (800) 262-6704.

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