Officials with the Illinois Department of Conservation report an injured mature bald eagle was found Feb. 5 in Louisville, Ill., near the Little Wabash River. X-rays confirmed the eagle had been shot. The bird is now being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation center. Louisville is located on U.S. Rt. 45 a few miles north of Flora, Ill., in rural Clay County.
A second eagle was found dead on Feb. 24 in southern Richland County. Again, X-rays confirmed the mature eagle had been shot.
Bald eagles are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act as a threatened species in the lower 48 states. Violators face up to a year in prison and fines up to $100,000 if convicted.
Anyone with information about either of these eagle shooting incidents is encouraged to call the Illinois Target Poacher Hotline at 1-877-236-7529, or contact any DNR conservation officer or the Illinois State Police.