HIGHLAND – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of a mature bald eagle near Highland in Pike County. The eagle was found west of the city along Arkansas Highway 26. A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing the eagle.
AGFC wildlife officer Sgt. Chesley Sigman said the eagle was discovered on Feb. 2 on private land. “Because the eagle was found along a highway, someone may have seen or heard something that will help in our investigation. We are hoping that anyone with information on who is responsible for shooting the eagle will step forward and provide information that will help us solve this case,” Sigman said.
The identities of persons who provide information will be kept confidential.
Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, both federal wildlife statutes.
Bald eagles historically occurred throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. It typically takes four or five years for bald eagles to mature, but many do not start breeding until they are much older. They may live 15 to 25 years in the wild. Bald eagles are large raptors with typical wingspans of about six to eight feet. Mature eagles have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak.
A pair of bald eagles typically mates for life and builds a huge nest in the tops of trees near rivers, lakes and marshes. Nests are often reused each year, and with the additions to the nests made annually, nests are often four to six feet wide and may weigh up to 1,000 pounds.
Anyone with information concerning the shooting of the eagle is asked to call Sgt. Sigman at 501-622-9352 or call the Stop Poaching Hotline at 800-482-9262.