Colorado bald eagle found shot dead, wildlife officials say

An American bald eagle was found shot dead near Milton Reservoir in Colorado, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced Monday.

The eagle’s death comes after a landowner spotted it “perched on the ground in his pasture approximately 60 yards south of his residence near Milton Reservoir in central Weld County,” the CPW said in a statement.

But the next morning, the landowner, who the CPW did not identify, found the eagle dead “in the same location where it was spotted the night before.”

After performing a necropsy, the CPW determined the bird suffered a gunshot wound to its lower abdomen which resulted in a “fractured right tibia, liver fracture and pooling of blood in the abdomen.”

The eagle likely suffered for more than a day before it died.

“Internal hemorrhages along with severe damage to tissues likely caused death within 24 - 48 hours of the eagle being shot,” the agency said.

The CPW is asking the public to help identify the eagle’s killer. If you have information regarding this matter, call 970-472-4300 or 877-265-6648.

Bald eagles are a federally protected species, thanks to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Anyone who captures or kills a bald or golden eagle can face hefty fines and jail time.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.