Exposing the Big Game

Forget Hunters' Feeble Rationalizations and Trust Your Gut Feelings: Making Sport of Killing Is Not Healthy Human Behavior

Exposing the Big Game

Bald eagle dies of gunshot wound in Indiana, reward offered

A bullet struck a protected bald eagle in Indiana, leading to the bird’s death, officials said Sunday.

Indiana Conservation Officer Ryan Jahn was investigating the shooting of the bald eagle Saturday in Lawrence County, officials said.

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“The eagle was found alive south of the White River near Dixie Road, but later succumbed to the gunshot wound,” Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

A bald eagle in Indiana was hit by a bullet and later died from its wound, officials said.

A bald eagle in Indiana was hit by a bullet and later died from its wound, officials said. (Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement)


A reward was being offered for information that leads to an arrest, according to the agency.

The killing of a bald eagle is a violation of the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Violators face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000.

As of 2008, bald eagles are no longer considered endangered in Indiana.

Researchers still track data on bald eagles to monitor the health of the population and learn more about their behavioral patterns.


‘Sickening’: Golden eagle spotted near royal family’s Balmoral estate with illegal trap attached to legs

‘Absolutely clear this incident is a result of criminality’, says RSPB, as focus on raptor persecution increases at start of grouse shooting season

The golden eagle was seen flying over the village of Crathie, which borders the edge of the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire

The golden eagle was seen flying over the village of Crathie, which borders the edge of the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire ( Police Scotland )

golden eagle has been photographed in Scotland flying with a trap dangling from its legs.

The bird was spotted over the Aberdeenshire village of Craithe, close to the royal family’s Balmoral estate in the Cairngorms National Park.

Police have launched an investigation alongside the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) after the tourist who took the picture reported it.

The photograph shows the bird hovering with the trap clamped around its talons and a chain hanging from it.

The type of traps are regularly seen in the illegal trapping of birds of prey on grouse moors, which cover around 20 per cent of all land in Scotland.

RSPB Scotland’s Head of Investigations Ian Thomson told The Independent: “This picture of a golden eagle with a trap on its leg is sickening.

“There is no way a bird of prey could become caught in a legally set trap and as such it is absolutely clear this incident is a result of criminality.

“There have been a number of incidences where birds of prey have been caught in similar traps resulting in fatalities and we are concerned for the fate of this bird if it is not caught soon so it can receive veterinary treatment. We urge the public to report any sightings to the police.”

Close-up showing the trap dangling from the bird’s talons (Police Scotland)

He added: “This kind of trap is used widely on grouse moors. Just a few years ago there was a case in the same area as this golden eagle has been spotted where a number were deployed illegally to target birds of prey.”

Police Scotland’s Sergeant Kim Wood said: “We would encourage anyone who has information which could help to locate this eagle to contact the police on 101.”

Grouse shooting is under increased focus as the season opened on 12 August and numerous naturalists and conservationists have called for an independent review into the impact of the practice.

A petition to ban driven grouse shooting – in which 500,000 grouse are shot dead a year – has reached 25,000 signatures.

The petition was created by BBC presenter and naturalist Chris Packham who told The Independent last month that in addition to illegal targeting protected species including birds of prey, gamekeepers on grouse estates legally target and kill “hundreds of thousands” of animals a year, including stoats, weasels, foxes and mountain hares in an effort to protect the grouse, which are then shot.

According to The Telegraph, the royal family’s annual summer grouse shoot was cancelled at Balmoral this year due to a shortage of birds, it said was due to “extreme weather and an outbreak of heather beetle,” which it said had impacted amounts of heather available for the grouse to consume.

Teen arrested for killing a bald eagle

HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS – A Harris County teenager was arrested Tuesday after allegedly killing a bald eagle in a north Harris County neighborhood.

Orlando David Delgado, 17, is charged with a hunting misdemeanor. Killing a bald eagle is normally a federal crime, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Delgado because of his age.

Delgado bonded out of jail on Wednesday.

A resident called the Harris County Sheriff’s Office after finding the dead eagle behind his home, which runs along White Oak Bayou.

The man told deputies he had seen three males near the tree where the eagle nested and one of them had a rifle.

While waiting for deputies, the man said the three males came back, pulled a feather from the eagle’s body and drove away in a white pickup truck.

Thanks to a tip from a mail carrier, Deputy A. Ebrahim found the truck a block away in front of Delgado’s home.

Investigators say Delgado admitted he shot the eagle with a high-powered Gammo pellet rifle. The first shot did not kill the federally protected bird, so he shot it several more times.

Neighbors are upset and heartbroken after hearing the news.

“It really hurts my stomach, it’s like a family member,” said Monette Villegas.

Villegas and her family watched the bird for years, along with another eagle they believed was his mate.

The family named the birds, Steve and Mary.

One of them is now memorialized with a stuffed animal eagle the family brought to the tree on Wednesday.

“Steve I kind of made up out of nowhere,” said Albert Villegas. “Mary, my mom gave me the idea because of America.”
(© 2017 KHOU)

Bald Eagle Was Found In A Trap

This Bald Eagle Was Found In A Trap. Now She’s Finally Flying Free.

A female bald eagle has been released back into the wild, a month after being found stuck in a leg trap and suffering from elevated lead levels.

courtesy Jordan Spyke

Jordan Spyke, assistant director of the Montana Raptor Conservation Center (MRCC), told The Huffington Post that bald eagles can easily be lured by baited traps as they scavenge for food on the ground.

Fortunately, someone in Fort Belknap, Montana found the bird in the trap before she starved to death. On March 2, she became “Patient 14-15″ at MRCC.

“We don’t name any of our birds,” Spyke explained. “We don’t want to get attached to them or anything like that.”

Blood tests revealed that this bald eagle had elevated lead levels, likely from eating spent shot left by hunters. The trap had cut off circulation to her foot, so her toe had to be amputated. A local vet performed the surgery.

eagle surgery

Spyke and his team also treated the bird to remove the lead from her system. She was given flight therapy in their customized flight barn, the only such facility in Montana.

After a month of careful treatment, she was ready to return to the wild.

On April 1, the MRCC team put the eagle into a large crate and loaded her into their “raptor van” for the ride to the Headwaters National Park. As volunteers held the crate door open, the eagle’s eyes slowly adjusted to the light. The spectators made her nervous, they said, but she flew out and was on her way.

Spyke said releasing the bird after the “double whammy” of an amputation and lead poisoning “feels pretty great.” He said the eagle seemed happy to stretch her nearly 8-foot wingspan, too.

“It flew great,” Spyke recalls. “It came up with wings open, got the wind, and barreled out of there.”

MRCC treats about 180 raptors a year, Spyke said, many for severe injuries from gunshots, electrocution and car collisions. The center is able to rehabilitate and release about 40 percent of its patients.

After nearly disappearing in the 1960s, the American Bald Eagle population has returned to healthy levels thanks to decades of conservation efforts. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife service removed them from the endangered species