Bald eagle euthanized months after being shot

The bald eagle was illegally shot in June near Gaston

A bald eagle was apparently shot near Gaston, Oregon on June 28, 2017. (Portland Audobon Society)
A bald eagle was apparently shot near Gaston, Oregon on June 28, 2017. (Portland Audobon Society)

GASTON, Ore. (KOIN) — A bald eagle who was illegally shot near Gaston in June was euthanized in mid-August, the Audobon Society of Portland said.

The adult male eagle had a “guarded” prognosis from the beginning of his treatment at the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center. The wounded bird was first reported around mid-June but stayed too high in a tree to reach.

Oregon State Police troopers went to an area north of Gaston on June 28 for the bald eagle and followed it through thick brush, a swampy marsh area and through a field before capturing it.

In a statement, Wildlife Care Center Manager Lacy Campbell said, “A Bald Eagle, who has to fly, hunt, and defend territory, can’t survive in the wild with an injury so damaging to the wing. In addition, it was clear that if this bird were to stay alive it would be in chronic pain the rest of its life.”

The eagle, named 1288-17, was between 4 and 5 years old.

Rewards are offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for shooting this bald eagle. The Portland Audobon Society offered $1500 and the Animal Legal Defense Fund has put up $5000.

Bald eagles are federally protected under various acts

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act includes penalties of a $5000 fine and a year in prison for civil infractions and a $250,000 fine or 2 years in prison for a felony conviction. Similar penalties are established under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The Lacey Act, passed in 1900, is harsher. Penalties include a 5-year prison term and $250,000 fine for a felony, or a $10,000 fine for civil violations.