HARRISBURG, Pa., May 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A bald eagle found dead earlier this month in northwestern Pennsylvania is believed to have died from a bullet wound, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced Thursday.
The investigation into the death of a mature eagle found dead May 5 in Clay Township, Butler County, is the second the Game Commission has announced this week.
The commission also is investigating the illegal shooting of a mature bald eagle in Allegheny Township, Cambria County. That bird was discovered injured by a concerned citizen May 10, and rushed for medical treatment, but later died of its wounds.
The Cambria County case, announced Monday, has drawn attention nationwide. And in Pennsylvania, individuals and groups have combined to offer more than $7,000 in reward money for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the eagle's death.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Inc. has set up a fund whereby individuals can pledge money toward a reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.
Tips leading to convictions in the Butler County case also may be eligible for monetary reward.
Anyone with information on either case is urged to call the Game Commission. The Game Commission's TIP Hotline number is 1-888-PGC-8001. Additionally, callers can contact their appropriate regional office to report information.
The eagle found dead in Butler County was discovered in a stream by citizens in the area. Examination of the carcass revealed evidence the bird had been shot.
"We need the public's help," said Wildlife Conservation Officer Chip Brunst, who is helping to conduct the Butler County investigation. "I have seen the bald eagle population grow throughout my career. This senseless act is disturbing to me and all citizens."
Brunst said any information the Game Commission receives will be kept in confidence.
Anyone with information regarding the Cambria County investigation also is urged to report it.
That eagle was discovered in the vicinity of Lincoln and Sharpe roads in Allegheny Township. A necropsy of the bird indicated that it had suffered at least one gunshot wound.
Cambria County is within the Game Commission's Southwest Region, and reports can be made to the regional office at 724-238-9523. Butler County is in the Northwest Region, which can be reached by calling 814-432-3187.
The reward offered in relation to the Cambria County case totals at least $7,250. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Wildlife Trust have contributed $5,000, Cambria County Crime Stoppers is offering $2,000, and the Game Commission is offering $250.
The reward amount could grow, too, based on pledges by individuals.
Individuals wishing to contribute money to a reward in the Cambria County case can contact the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Inc at 717-232-3480, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The organization's mailing address is 2426 North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Checks can be made payable to PFSC Legal Fund.
The Game Commission currently classifies the bald eagle as a threatened species in Pennsylvania. They were removed from the federal endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007, because delisting goals had been achieved.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission