As the New Year takes shape, Wisconsin officials say they are still trying to get to the bottom of a recent death involving a bald eagle and are asking the public for help.
Last month, the wounded animal was discovered just outside Milwaukee and later died during surgery. The Humane Society and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources say there’s evidence the animal was shot.
Nick Miofsky, southeast region law enforcement supervisor for the DNR, said the probe continues, and any information from the public would certainly aid their investigation.
“If anybody has any information about the eagle or knows anything about what happened, contact our Wisconsin DNR tip line,” Miofsky urged.
The tip line number is 1-800-847-9367. Eagles and their nests are federally protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Wounding or killing one comes with a $100,000 fine and one year in prison for a first offense. The punishments increase for a second violation.
The DNR said Wisconsin’s bald eagle population has rebounded after previously being on the endangered species list. Miofsky noted he understands how starling cases like these can be for the public.
“I can definitely understand how people are passionate about our national symbol and icon,” Miofsky acknowledged. “And being in the line of work that I’m in, whether it be an eagle or other wildlife, I mean, I don’t like to see anybody intentionally harm wildlife outside of regulated hunting and trapping.”
Earlier this year, the agency was investigating another fatal shooting of a bald eagle. The incident also happened in the southeastern part of the state. It is unclear if there is any connection to what happened in December.
This story was written by Mike Moen, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.