News Releases

Eagle recovering from gunshot wounds; $3,500 reward offered

News Release

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3200

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to find whoever shot and wounded an American bald eagle near Lehigh Acres in early March. And two conservation groups are offering a total of $3,500 for information leading to an arrest.

Local residents first noticed the eagle on the ground on March 3, near the 3900 block of 20th St. SW in Lehigh Acres.  At that time it was not evident the bird had sustained gunshot wounds.  The eagle remained on the ground until March 7, when a concerned citizen realized the bird was injured and took it to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, where it is recovering.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigator Greg Stanley believes the bird was shot sometime earlier that week, in the general vicinity of where it was rescued. 

"The nearest known bald eagle nest is 3.8 miles from where the bird was rescued, and the injuries to the bird would have prevented it from traveling very far from where it was shot," Stanley said.

The FWC is investigating the incident, and Stanley hopes someone will come forward with information.  

"This is a callous act that cannot be tolerated.  The bald eagle has recently come off the federal endangered species list and Florida's imperiled species list as the result of decades of hard work by conservationists and a supportive public," he said.  

Intentionally harming a bald eagle is a misdemeanor, punishable under federal law by up to a $100,000 fine and/or up to one year in prison.  Anyone with information about this incident should call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-3922 or report it online at MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert. Those reporting violations may remain anonymous.  

The Wildlife Alert Reward Association pays rewards for information that leads to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife laws. The nonprofit organization is funded by voluntary donations, as well as by court-ordered contributions from convicted violators. Wildlife Alert is offering a $1,000 reward in this case, and the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has added $2,500.

For more information about Florida's bald eagles, go to MyFWC.com/Eagle.



FWC Facts:
The star coral may live for several centuries and grow to the size of an automobile. Its growth rate ranges from about 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch of yearly outward expansion.

Learn More at AskFWC