We the People are banding together to avenge the senseless death of the United States of America’s national bird.
On Dec. 27, 2017, a bald eagle was found dead on the side of a rural Oklahoma road in Broken Arrow, according to state game wardens.
The passerby who first discovered the fallen bird believed it looked like the animal had been shot and reported the sighting to local authorities.
“Warden Kenny Lawson collected the eagle and a rifle casing as evidence,” Oklahoma Game Wardens posted on Facebook about the grim incident. “The veteran game warden reported that the bald eagle had indeed been shot out of a tree overhanging the road.”
In America, it is illegal to kill a bald eagle due to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The law protects the bald eagle by prohibiting the “take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg,” according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The “take” of a bald eagle includes the wounding, capturing or killing of the bird that is also the national emblem of the United States.
This law was created in 1940 and is still in place today, even with bald eagles being de-listed from the Endangered Species Act. Penalties for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act were increased in 1972 and include a $5,000 fine or year of imprisonment for a first offense, and at least a $10,000 fine or two years in prison for a second conviction.
Oklahoma Game Wardens are still searching for the person or persons responsible for this illegal and needless act and are asking anyone with information to help.
“If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact Warden Kenny Lawson at 580-513-4963,” the Wardens wrote on Facebook. “You can also report this, or any other wildlife crime to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-522-8039. All information reported will be kept confidential.”