Arizona Game and Fish offers reward in bald eagle killing

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

WARNING: Graphic images.

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Arizona Game and Fish Department Operation Game Thief is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of a dead bald eagle.

"The eagle's tail feathers had been removed as well as some primary feathers, and its feet," said Mark Hart with Arizona Game and Fish.

Hart says the carcass was discovered about a week ago on Nov. 21 by a hiker at Tucson Mountain Park.

The remains were inside a paper bag under a pile of rocks.

It was located about 300 yards north of the Tucson Mountain Park parking area atop Gates Pass, where it may have been killed.

"It almost looks as if someone hurriedly disposed of it because of that location and the nature of how it was attempted to be hidden," Hart said.

Game and Fish officials say the eagle may have been dead a few days before being discovered.

Part time resident Bob Thompson says the culprit should be punished for destroying a national treasure, "I don't know about jail but stiff fines, you know, make an example of somebody who did something like that."

Killing a bald eagle is a federal offense punishable by a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Individuals with information about the case are urged to call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700, anonymously if need be, and reference OGT # 11-001867. 

Information may also be provided on-line at http://www.azgfd.gov/ogt_form.shtml.

The bald eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in 2007.