Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Bill Spece says the first bald eagle was found two weeks ago in the Boone Fork Wildlife Area. The second bald eagle was found this past Saturday near Lehigh. It was alive, but had been shot twice.
“We were able to capture it and get it to a raptor rehabilitation center. They tried working on it a little bit, but it did pass away,” Spece said. The eagles were within 10 miles of one another and both were shot with a similar caliber firearm, so investigators believe the cases could be related.
“We have reason to believe they could be just simply because they were in fairly close proximity of one another,” Spece said. People in the area are “outraged” about the shootings, according to Spece.
“There’s quite a bit of local disdain, I guess, at the idea of somebody shooting our national symbol,” Spece said. “It’s weighing heavy on the hearts of a lot of these folks.” Anyone with information on the case can use the Turn in Poachers (TIP) website at www.iowadnr.gov/tip, call the TIP hotline at 1-800-532-2020 or call Spece directly at 515-571-0127. Information can be left anonymously.
Bald eagles are a state and federally protected species. Earlier this month, a bald eagle was found shot to death in southwest Winneshiek County.
In late February, a bald eagle was found shot and dismembered in a county park on the southeast side of Des Moines. Conservation officers cited a man who was found in possession of the bird’s head and talons, but they suspect someone else killed the eagle.