Rewards offered for info on Va. eagle deaths

Posted at 2:12 PM, Apr 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-25 14:13:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—A reward totaling $7500, from two organizations, has been established for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the poisoning of six bald eagles on the Eastern Shore.

Five of the eagles died.

In March, a couple alerted wildlife experts after they found two eagles in a ditch. Then a wildlife expert found a more eagles lying lifeless in a field behind some woods.

Veterinarians found metal particles in the digestive system of one of the birds.

“They just opened up their beaks, spread their wings, and tried to hop away. You could tell he wasn’t going to fly,” Art Shear, who discovered two of the birds, said.

A surviving bird was rehabilitated at the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro and it was released Thursday at the Environmental Education Center in Virginia Beach.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of $2,500 for the arrest and conviction of any culprit responsible for the birds’ death. A $5,000 reward is being offered by The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

The reward is “for information that helps us solve this crime and close the investigation,” said Sandy Cleva, spokeswoman for the wildlife service.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Law Enforcement’s special agent Chris Mina at 804-771-2883.