Third bald eagle shot in Mississippi, dies from injuries

Another bald eagle was shot in Mississippi and later died, according to The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP).

This bald eagle was shot in Union County and found on Owen Road and Tanglefoot Trail in New Albany, MS.

Because of its injuries, officials said, the eagle could not have flown far from where it was shot. Due to severe injuries sustained from multiple shot shell pellet wounds to its wings, leg and eye, the eagle had to be euthanized.

The eagle is believed to have been shot sometime from January 1-18, 2013.

Another eagle was shot in Neshoba County in early December 2012. That eagle had to be euthanized. It was found in the Nanih Waiya Wildlife Management Area.

And a bald eagle was also shot and found in Stone County near Wiggins in mid-January 2013. This eagle survived and is in rehab.

Agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they have not received any tips about the shootings in Stone and Union counties. However, they have received leads in Neshoba County.

An investigation is underway in all these cases. Reward money is available to anyone who is able to provide information that leads to an arrest in any of these shootings.

"We don't think these shootings are related. Past cases have shown people were shooting hawks or buzzards so they may not know what they are shooting at. But, there are some people who say they can see the eagles head," special agent Chavis with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, both federal and state wildlife statutes. Violations of these statutes carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $100,000 and/or one year in federal prison.

Anyone with information concerning any of these three American bald eagles should contact the:  USFWS's Grenada Office of Law Enforcement at 662-227-0990, USFWS's Jackson Office of Law Enforcement at 601-965-4699, or MDWFP Law Enforcement Bureau at 601-432-2074.

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