Roanoke, Virginia – A tragedy unfolded at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Shelter on Christmas Eve when a juvenile bald eagle succumbed to a gunshot wound in the wing. The young eagle, weighing just under ten pounds, had been admitted to the shelter after a week of evading capture in Wythe County.
According to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center, a crew of people from the Department of Wildlife Resources, Appalachian Wildlife Management, and concerned citizens had to work together to capture the injured bird and bring it to the shelter for care. However, after multiple X-rays, it was confirmed that the bird’s injuries were too severe to be repaired, as the wing had suffered from a gunshot wound with bullet fragments.
As a result, the beautiful bald eagle tragically passed away, leaving the executive director of the SVWC and the center’s staff deeply saddened by the loss. The center emphasized that this was not an accident, but a deliberate and “horrific crime.” They called on anyone with information about the incident to contact the Department of Wildlife Resources.
Shooting a bald eagle is a serious crime and can result in a fine of $100,000, imprisonment for one year, or both, for a first offense, under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. This incident has raised concerns about the welfare and protection of wildlife in the region, prompting a call for vigilance and cooperation from the public to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.
In conclusion, the loss of the young bald eagle on Christmas Eve due to a gunshot wound has left the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center devastated. The deliberate act has highlighted the need for increased efforts to protect and preserve these magnificent birds and other wildlife in the region.