The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward for information into the shooting deaths of two bald eagles this week in Kansas.
The first eagle was found Monday in a ditch near the Ness County-Trego County line in western Kansas. The second eagle was found Tuesday near the Montgomery County-Wilson County line in southeast. Kansas.
Kenny Kessler, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent investigating the case, confirmed Thursday that both eagles had been shot. He said both were immature eagles, meaning they were probably less than five-years-old and lacked the species’ iconic white head.
Bald eagles are protected by federal law.
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Anyone with information regarding the death of the eagles is asked to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, in Topeka at 785-232-5149. The service is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the killing of these or any other eagles or protected species. Information may also be reported to the Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s hotline at 877-426-3843. Those reporting information can choose to remain anonymous.
Once a symbol of the endangered species act, bald eagles have become increasingly common since pesticide-related reproduction problems about 50 years ago led to rapid population declines. They were removed from the endangered list in 1996 and from the threatened list in 2007.
Last year it’s estimated 40 or more pairs of bald eagles nested in Kansas. Hundreds migrate into the state every fall and winter to feed on fish, waterfowl and carrion.