- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State and federal wildlife agents are looking for whoever shot a bald eagle about 25 miles north of Shreveport.

The mature eagle - with brown body, white head and tail, and hooked yellow beak - was too badly hurt to save, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.

There’s an $8,500 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case, said Adam Einck, spokesman for the Louisiana department’s Enforcement Division.

He said the bird was found March 22 near Cavett River Road in Gilliam with an injured chest and wing. The eagle was taken to Louisiana State University Veterinary Hospital, where X-rays showed a gunshot wound. Einck says the eagle had to be euthanized. He did not know whether it was male or female, and said he cannot yet release the kind of gun used.

The reward was put together by The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fish and Wildlife Agent Brad Rabalais at 601-331-0292 or the state wildlife department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.

Bald eagles are protected by two laws carrying maximum total criminal penalties of $115,000 in fines and two years in prison.

A bald eagle was shot last April in St. Bernard Parish, but Einck says this is the first shooting of a bald eagle this year.

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