PARIS, Mo. — An injured bald eagle has been rescued after getting shot in the wing, according to the University of Missouri College of Veterinarian Medicine.
Missouri Department of Conservation agents responded to a call and found the eagle in an area north of Paris. They captured the eagle and sent it to the University of Missouri’s Raptor Rehabilitation Project for treatment and observation, according to a statement on Facebook.
When the eagle arrived, veterinarians found that the eagle had bullet fragments in its wing. The bullet caused injury to the eagle’s ulna bone.
“I don’t recall seeing one that had been shot,” Tracy Berry, Communications Director for the college, told FOX4.
Berry said eagles are mostly brought in with lead poisoning after eating animals that have been shot. She said its unusual to see the the bird itself wounded by bullets.
That may be in part because it’s a federal crime to shoot the USA’s national bird.
The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, originally passed in 1940, makes it illegal to shoot, injure, transport or disturb bald eagles without a federal permit. Violators could face one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Berry said the bullet fragments have not been removed at this time for fear of causing more harm to the eagle. Vets wrapped the wing in hopes that the bone does not become displaced. Blood work is being done to test for lead poisoning.
She said it’s too early to tell if the bird will make a full recovery.
The MDC is investigating the incident. They ask anyone who has information about the shooting to call their hotline at 800-392-1111.
Raptor Rehabilitation Project runs through the vet program at the university and seeks to educate the public on the importance of these birds in the ecosystem.
Paris is a town in Monroe County about an hour north of Columbia.