CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP/WAVY) — A popular bald eagle hatched seven years ago at Virginia’s Norfolk Botanical Garden had to be euthanized after being shot.
According to published reports the male eagle named Camellia was shot Saturday, May 6 in Chesapeake. Officials say the eagle had over 20 pieces of buckshot in its body and wouldn’t survive its injuries.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is leading the investigation. A spokesperson said an agent has visited the site where the eagle was found, but said it is still very early on in their investigation.
Reese Lukei, research associate for the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William & Mary, says the bird gained fame when Lukei placed a satellite tracker on him after his birth in 2010. However, researchers lost track of the bird when the eagle’s transmitter fell off in 2015.
Botanical Garden spokeswoman Kelly Welsh says they are deeply saddened to hear that one of the eaglets born at the garden suffered an unnatural death.
A nonprofit group dedicated to helping eagles, Eagle on Alliance, announced it has raised $1,000 to reward anyone with information leading to those responsible for Camellia’s death.
Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crime hotline at email@example.com or 1- 844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).
Bald eagles are protected under federal law, according to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.