There is nothing that screams "God Bless America" more than a magnificent bald eagle. And according to scientists from the Migratory Bird Program, the bald eagle population climbed to an estimated 316,700 individual bald eagles in the lower 48 states in 2021. They are protected and beloved all across America, and it is a serious offense if you harm one of them. A federal offense.

So, it was very disturbing to find out that not one, but two of these magnificent birds have been shot in our state. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agency, and the US Forest Service are on the lookout for persons who might have information about the shooting of two bald eagles in Rapides Parish.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, via BRProud.com, the two mature American bald eagles were recovered in Rapides Parish on Kincaid Lake, and they both "displayed gunshot wounds from a small-caliber firearm." Bald Eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Violations can carry stiff penalities, including up to "up to $100,000 and $15,000 respectively and/or up-to one year in federal prison."

Federal officials are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information that leads to a conviction of persons who were involved in the shooting.  BRProud.com states that "Anyone with information concerning this investigation is asked to contact U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Brad Rabalais at 601-331-0292, call the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511, or contact the LDWF Pineville district office at 318-487-5427."

 

 

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