ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — It was a tragic Christmas Eve at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center when a young bald eagle passed away from a gunshot wound to the wing. The center announced that the eagle, weighing just under ten pounds, was admitted from Wythe County. The eagle had managed to survive for more than a week while evading capture, sustaining itself by feeding on deer carcasses.
A team effort from the Department of Wildlife Resources, Appalachian Wildlife Management, and concerned citizens was required to apprehend the eagle and transport it to the wildlife center. Unfortunately, after multiple X-rays, it was confirmed that the bird’s injuries were the result of a gunshot wound, with bullet fragments lodged in the wing. The damage was too severe for the bird to recover, and it ultimately succumbed to its injuries.
The executive director of the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center expressed deep sadness over the eagle’s death, emphasizing that “animals deserve so much better.” He also stated that the incident was not a hunting accident, but rather an intentional act of shooting a bald eagle. The center highlighted the seriousness of the crime, noting that shooting a bald eagle is a federal offense that could result in a significant fine and imprisonment.
The center urged anyone with information about the incident to contact the Department of Wildlife Resources. The tragic death of the young bald eagle was a heartbreaking reminder of the importance of protecting wildlife and the consequences of harming these majestic creatures.
In summary, a young bald eagle in Southwest Virginia died on Christmas Eve from a gunshot wound, prompting calls for information to identify the perpetrator. The incident served as a poignant reminder of the vulnerability of wildlife and the need for conservation efforts to protect these iconic species.