In offering a $2,500 reward recently for information leading to the arrest of the killer of a bald eagle in Lucedale, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proclaimed that “every eagle” is protected.
A pair of the national birds in Wyoming will soon be sacrificed in a religious service that has the blessing of federal officials.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given the Northern Arapaho, a Native American tribe in Wyoming, permission to kill two bald eagles for a religious ceremony this year
Matt Hogan, assistant regional director for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Denver, told The Associated Press the permission to kill the protected symbol of our national unity for the tribe’s centuries-old “sun dance” is “compatible with the preservation of eagle populations.”
He didn’t say exactly how it was compatible, however.
Back in Mississippi, the Fish and Wildlife Service is insisting national policy is that the majestic raptor, aling with other protected bird species, are protected unconditionally and “there is no excuse for shooting them.”
“Every eagle, hawk, vulture, and crane is protected,” said Ben Bryant, Special Agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Lacombe, La. “There is no excuse for shooting them.”
Except when the Wildlife Service puts forth its own excuse.
The Lucedale bald eagle shooting occurred Feb. 10 , near the George County Co-Op. Investigators are seeking information related to the shooting. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are conducting a joint investigation.
The federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act protect bald eagles.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information that leads to a conviction.
The Lucedale shooting of the bald eagle was not the first to occur in the region recently.
The Lucedale shooting was followed by the discovery seven days later of a bald eagle in Tuscaloosa County, Ala., that had been wounded by gunshot. The bird was discovered shot in the wing and head near the Sipsey River on Upper Columbus Road in Northport, Ala., Feb. 17.
It is recovering from its injuries, including a broken wing, at the Southeastern Raptor Center in Auburn and is to be released back into the wild once it heals.
As with the Lucedale shooting, the Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person who shot the bald eagle in Alabama. The Alabama Wildlife Center says it appears that the bird’s wounds were not recent.
To provide information about the bald eagle shooting, contact John Rawls with the Fish and Wildlife Service at 334-285-9600