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.