A $2,500 reward is offered for information leading to who is responsible for fatally shooting two bald eagles in a remote area of northern Minnesota.
An anonymous tip sent an officer with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to a spot along the Blackduck River near the town of Blackduck on April 23, said agency spokesman Joe Albert.
The officer found the dead eagles and turned them over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which will do a necropsy in hopes of learning more about the circumstances of the deaths.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Turn in Poachers hotline at 1-800-652-9093. The $2,500 reward being offered by the USFWS is for information that leads to an arrest or conviction in the case, said agency spokeswoman Tina Shaw.
There have been 67 eagle shootings from 2001 through 2018 in the eight states that make up the wildlife service's Midwest region.
While bald eagles are no longer an endangered species, they are still protected by federal laws and other state and municipal statutes.
The federal Eagle Act prohibits anyone from taking, possessing or transporting any eagle or eagle parts — including nests, eggs and feathers — without prior authorization.
The first offense is a misdemeanor with maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for an individual ($200,000 for an organization). The second offense rises to a felony with a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for an individual ($500,000 for an organization).