Bald Eagles Shot

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Friday, March 11, 2011 - 1:51pm

Tennessee wildlife authorities probe two killings within one month.

Tennessee Wildlife officials are hunting down leads in the deaths of two bald eagles.

Both were found dead within a month.

The first was found in Big Springs Gap Road area of Bledsoe County.

The other was discovered approximately 30 miles away in the Crab Orchard community of Cumberland County.

It has many wildlife officials wondering if the national symbol is under attack.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Agent Mark Patterson is sick to his stomach.

He found the first eagle in Bledsoe County.

The TWRA is offering almost $9,000 for info leading to an arrest on each bird.

Local residents are angry, with many of them saying they would give back the reward money if they could help officials make an arrest.

"To go out and just purposely kill our nations symbol, that's wrong," said disgusted local hunter Mickey Gooden.

The bald eagle was moved off the endangered species list in 2007 and onto the threatened species list because they've been making a comeback.

Still, killing one is a federal offense punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Patterson believes who ever shot these birds knew exactly what they were doing.

Gooden feels the same way.

It takes four to five years for a bald eagle to develop the one of a kind white head and tail feathers.

These were clearly mature bald eagles.
 

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