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US officials still seek information 1 year after 4 bald eagles found shot dead

US officials still seek information 1 year after 4 bald eagles found shot dead

Federal and state officials are still seeking leads nearly one year after four bald eagles were found shot dead in Arkansas.

The eagles were discovered on Feb. 13, 2023, in the town of Pyatt in Marion County, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is investigating the incident along with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

The eagles had been shot sometime between mid-January and mid-February of 2023, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said. Red-tailed hawks, a pet dog and a couple of deer carcasses were also found shot and killed in the area, federal officials said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Southeast said on social media Tuesday that it is continuing to seek information on the shooting of the bald eagles.

A spokesperson for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told ABC News they are highlighting the case now "in hopes of generating new leads."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the bald eagle killings.

MORE: These are some of the species most at risk of extinction in the US

The Center for Biological Diversity also announced in May 2023 that it is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

"We grieve the senseless and illegal killing of these majestic birds and want the perpetrator brought to justice," Will Harlan, a senior scientist at the center, said in a statement at the time. "This cowardly act against America's national bird can't go unpunished. I hope someone steps forward with information."

PHOTO: Portrait of four bald eagles perching on branch, Homer, Alaska,June 17, 2018. (Michael Barrett/Getty Images/500px Prime)
PHOTO: Portrait of four bald eagles perching on branch, Homer, Alaska,June 17, 2018. (Michael Barrett/Getty Images/500px Prime)

Anyone with information is asked to contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Conway Office of Law Enforcement at 501-513-4470 or the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 833-356-0824.

Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibit the killing of the animals. Violations of these statutes carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and/or two years in federal prison, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

MORE: 21 species have been delisted from the Endangered Species Act, and not for a good reason

Bald eagles, the only eagles unique to North America, were listed as endangered in most states in 1978, following the enactment of the Endangered Species Act. The species was delisted in 2007 and its recovery is considered "one of the most well-known conservation success stories of all time," the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

US officials still seek information 1 year after 4 bald eagles found shot dead originally appeared on abcnews.go.com