Cumberland Times-News

Outdoors

June 1, 2013

Two Pa. bald eagle deaths investigated

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A bald eagle found dead earlier this month in northwestern Pennsylvania is believed to have died from a bullet wound, the Pennsylvania Game Commission recently announced.

The investigation into the death of a mature eagle found dead May 5 in Clay Township, Butler County, is the second such finding.

The commission also is investigating the illegal shooting of a mature bald eagle in Allegheny Township, Cambria County. That bird was discovered injured by a concerned citizen May 10, and rushed for medical treatment, but later died of its wounds.

The Cambria County case has drawn attention nationwide. And in Pennsylvania, individuals and groups have combined to offer more than $7,000 in reward money for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the eagle’s death.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Inc. has set up a fund whereby individuals can pledge money toward a reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.

Tips leading to convictions in the Butler County case also may be eligible for monetary reward.

Anyone with information on either case may call the game commission’s TIP Hotline number 1-888-PGC-8001 confidentially.

The eagle found dead in Butler County was discovered in a stream. The bird had been shot.

“We need the public’s help,” said Wildlife Conservation Officer Chip Brunst, who is helping to conduct the Butler County investigation. “I have seen the bald eagle population grow throughout my career. This senseless act is disturbing to me and all citizens.”

The eagle discovered near Lincoln and Sharpe roads in Allegheny Township suffered at least one gunshot wound.

The reward offered in the Cambria County case totals at least $7,250. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Wildlife Trust have contributed $5,000, Cambria County Crime Stoppers is offering $2,000, and the commission is offering $250.

To contribute to a reward in the Cambria County case, contact the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Inc at 717-232-3480, or by email at pfsc@pfsc.org. The organization’s mailing address is 2426 North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Checks can be made payable to PFSC Legal Fund.

The Game Commission currently classifies the bald eagle as a threatened species in Pennsylvania. They were removed from the federal endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007, because delisting goals had been achieved.

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