WILDLIFE

Who shot, killed bald eagle near Cedar City? $10,000 reward available

Apr 12, 2024, 6:00 PM

bald eagle...

FILE - A bald eagle flies at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge Friday, Dec. 24, 2021, in Mound City, Mo. A federal grand jury in Montana early Dec. 2023, has indicted two men accused of killing about 3,600 birds, including bald eagles and golden eagles, and selling them on the black market. (Charlie Riedel, Associated Press)

(Charlie Riedel, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the conviction in the illegal killing of a bald eagle in southern Utah.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers are seeking information after a bald eagle was shot near Cedar City on Feb. 29. Responding officers discovered the eagle had been shot through the wing. The injuries were severe; the eagle had to be euthanized.

Reward for doing ‘the right thing’

“It’s a tragedy that this majestic bald eagle was senselessly gunned down, and the perpetrator needs to be brought to justice,” said Patrick Donnelly, Great Basin director at the Center for Biological Diversity, which is offering the reward. “I hope someone does the right thing and comes forward with information.”

Capt. Chad Bettridge, law enforcement officer for the DWR, joined Dave & Dujanovic to discuss the consequences that can come with harming or killing a bald eagle.

 It appears a larger-caliber rifle was used to shoot the eagle, Bettridge said.

“We don’t have an incredible amount of information on what actually happened, which is why we’re seeking the public to see if anybody else might know,” he said.

 

Bettridge said the person responsible for shooting and killing the bald eagle could face a felony, court fines and restitution.

“It is a serious crime. It’s as serious as you get in the divisional of Wildlife as far as taking something intentionally,” he said.

Utahn serving prison time for killing eagles

Enacted in 1940, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act prohibits anyone — without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior — from killing bald or golden eagles or taking their parts, including feathers, nests or eggs. The individual involved in this crime could be facing a third-degree felony charge of wanton destruction of protected wildlife, according to the Utah DWR.

KSL.com reported: 

 In 2022, a Utah man was sentenced to serve nearly four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to killing at least 10 eagles without authorization and illegally possessing a gun.

Bettridge said he spoke with the officer investigating the crime a few days ago.

“He said he’s talked to a couple people, but we’re still looking for more information.”

Anyone with information about the crime can report it to the DWR

Related: Bald eagles make their way to Utah, DWR has four events to see them

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Who shot, killed bald eagle near Cedar City? $10,000 reward available