Kansas Game Wardens On The Hunt For Bald Eagle Shooter, Enraged Citizens Start Offering Their Own Cash Rewards

Kansas Game Wardens announced that they were on the hunt for someone who killed a bald eagle in Kansas Wednesday morning. The bald eagle was shot and killed below the Marion Reservoir’s dam near Hillsboro, Kansas, which is north of Wichita. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism announced on its Facebook page that they need the public’s help in finding the shooter.

The Kansas Game Wardens posted their pleas on the Facebook page, with two photos of the dead bald eagle, according to KMBC News.

“Kansas Game Wardens are seeking the public’s help. This adult Bald Eagle was shot and killed below Marion Reservoir’s dam sometime Wednesday morning (February 4, 2015). Anyone with information is asked to call Operation Game Thief at 877-426-3843. You can remain anonymous.”

The public was furious that someone would shoot the national bird, and the post garnered 12,400 Facebook shares as of Saturday morning. In the comments of the photos of the dead bald eagle, dozens of members of the public have offered their own cash rewards to anyone who is responsible for finding the shooter of the bald eagle found in Kansas this week.

The wardens have suggested that anyone interested in helping bring the bald eagle shooter to justice or assisting in the financial aspects of the investigation send their donations to the official bald eagle fund.

“WildTrust, KDWPT Pratt Operations Office. 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, KS 67124. Please indicate on the check that it’s for the Marion Co. Bald Eagle Fund.”

Bald eagles are protected under federal law. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, even though the bald eagle has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act after a remarkable comeback, the nation bird will continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

“This law, originally passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle (as amended in 1962) by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit (16 U.S.C. 668(a); 50 CFR 22). ‘Take’ includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment.”

In late January, the Inquisitr featured another story about a bald eagle. A woman was hiking in Alaska when she discovered that a bald eagle had become caught in a trap. She called the Juneau Raptor Center to help free the bald eagle, but the agency was unable to help. After freeing the eagle herself, she ended up being charged for trap tampering.

Many Americans become furious when anyone is threatening our nation’s official bird. Comments abound on the Kansas Game Warden’s Facebook page, where people explain what the eagle means to them and why they are so angered that anyone would shoot one. One former military member commented beneath the photo, capturing what hundreds of other posters also tried to explain.

“The eagle is not only our nations bird but also a symbol of our freedom. To see that majestic symbol of freedom lying face down dead turns my stomach. The person(s) responsible for this, if brought to justice should be given maximum sentence. Our judges are allowing criminals to walk freely among us but I hope this judge sees to it the person(s) responsible for this are held fully responsible. These were not hunters that did this. These were terrorists that need to be found, drug in, interrogated, and dealt with appropriately.”

Still, others are upset that the bald eagle was killed because of what the bald eagle represents to them in addition to or even separate from their national pride. For example, in 2013, the Stillaguamish Tribe offered a huge cash reward after four eagles were killed in Washington State, according to the Indian Country Today Median Network.

The bald eagle that was killed in Kansas on Wednesday morning was an adult male.

[Photo via Facebook]