Federally Protected Bald Eagle Found Shot in Idaho

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Kira Hofmann/picture alliance via Getty Images)

A bald eagle, which are both federally and state-protected birds, was found shot and killed near Montpelier, Idaho. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported that conservation officers were told the eagle was found in a field. The field is located in Bern, Idaho, and the eagle was located November 6th.

The conversation officer arrived at the scene and determined the bird had been shot in the leg with a “small caliber firearm.” The bullet ended up lodging inside its abdomen. Apparently, the eagle flew for a short while before succumbing to blood loss.

“It’s always a tragedy when a bald eagle dies by hitting a powerline or colliding with a vehicle,” says White. “But, this was no accident. Someone purposely shot this symbol of freedom.”

The bald eagle is protected under federal laws and Idaho state law. Anyone with information is urged to call Senior Conservation Officer Kolby White at 208-204-3921. Citizens with information should also call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.

Bald eagles receive the name “bald” from an older meaning of the word which translates to “white headed.” The adult eagle is brown with a white head and tail. Both sexes contain the same plumage. However, female bald eagles are about 25 percent larger than the males.

However, in a tragic incident which occurred in Kansas, a bald eagle and an owl were killed by raccoons. The raccoons had broken into the facility and wreaked havoc inside.

Tragic Incident Ends in Death of Bald Eagle and Owl

The incident occurred last month at Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence, Kansas. The birds belonged to the Birds of Prey exhibit at the center.

The City of Lawrence released a statement about the incident, saying that the staff added further measures to strengthen the cage area and keep predators out.

The bald eagle’s name was Kansa. Back in January 2003, the nature center acquired the eagle from the Kansas State University veterinary clinic. It was just one year old. Extensive rehabilitation was required following injuries suffered in a collision with a powerline. Kansa officially went on display in May 2003 before her tragic death.

Serena, the barn owl, arrived at the nature center in 2011. She originally lived at Walden’s Puddle in Tennessee.

In the late 20th century, bald eagles were on the brink of local extinction within the contiguous United States. However, through conservation efforts, populations have since recovered.

The species was removed from the U.S. government’s list of endangered species on July 12, 1995. It was transferred to the list of threatened species. Then, the bald eagle was removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the contiguous states on June 28, 2007.

The largest eagles are from Alaska, where large females may weigh more than 15 lbs. and span 8 ft. 0 in. across the wings.