The dead bird was discovered on March 28 in Drew County, and the body was brought to the Little Rock Zoo, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said in a news release.
Staff at the facility made the preliminary finding that it succumbed to a gunshot wound, according to officials.
“The female eagle’s body was found near a nest, and it is believed that the bird was tending the nest at the time of death,” the news release said.
The AGFC is working the investigation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has posted a reward of up to $6,000 for any tips that lead “to the arrest and conviction” of whoever is behind the act, officials said.
The bald eagle is the only eagle unique to North America, according to various wildlife websites.
The agency urged anyone with information to reach out to their Stop Poaching Hotline at (800) 482-9262.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.