Feds investigate eagle shooting in South Dakota

Watertown, S.D. (AP) — A Watertown veterinarian euthanized a
golden eagle that had been badly injured in a shooting.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Game, Fish and
Parks Department are investigating the shooting of the eagle, which
was put to death Dec. 28 at the Bramble Park Zoo.

Both agencies are offering a reward for information leading to
the arrest and conviction of whoever shot the immature eagle.

“I’ve conducted some interviews, and I’m following up on a
lead,” said Ken Dulik, a special agent with the Fish and Wildlife
Service in Columbia.

The veterinarian who did the euthanization, Andrea Hennen, said
the eagle’s injuries were extensive.

“It had a fractured (left) wing as well as wounds on its body,”
she said. “He was in very poor condition.”

Bramble Park Zoo’s zookeeper, John Gilman, said the bird was
covered with pellets from a shotgun.

“It was actually starting to chew on some of those wounds, which
is a bad deal,” he said.

Gilman said the eagle had a large laceration to the throat that
he described as “terrible.”

The eagle was shot in late December northwest of Carpenter in
Clark County. Someone saw the injured bird on Dec. 27 and reported
it to a state official who delivered it to the zoo.

“We get several (eagle shootings) a year,” Dulik said, adding
that he has not determined if there’s a connection with the
unsolved shooting of an immature bald eagle a month earlier
northwest of Tulare, near Redfield.

“We’ve collected some physical evidence from the scene that may
or may not be able to tell us if they were linked,” Dulik said.
“The two shootings weren’t too far away from each other. But
there’s no indication that they’re connected at this time.”

Golden eagles are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

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