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Bald Eagle Found Illegally Shot Near Gaston, Oregon Euthanized Due to Permanent Injuries

In late June, just before the Fourth of July, a male Bald Eagle was rescued by an Oregon State Trooper after reports that the bird was injured. The eagle was brought to Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center where it was determined that the bird had been illegally shot. Unfortunately, despite expert care and time to heal, the Bald Eagle was euthanized in mid-August due to the severity of the injury and its impact on the shoulder. This difficult decision was made after assessing quality of life.

Bald Eagle Found Illegally Shot Near Gaston, Oregon Euthanized Due to Permanent Injuries

Bald Eagle found shot north of Gaston, Oregon receives treatment at the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center.

Aug 23, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – In late June, just before the Fourth of July, a male Bald Eagle was rescued by an Oregon State Trooper after reports that the bird was injured. The eagle was brought to Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center where it was determined that the bird had been illegally shot. Unfortunately, despite expert care and time to heal, the Bald Eagle was euthanized in mid-August due to the severity of the injury and its impact on the shoulder. This difficult decision was made after assessing quality of life. 

Lacy Campbell, Wildlife Care Center Manager, explained, “A Bald Eagle, who has to fly, hunt, and defend territory, can’t survive in the wild with an injury so damaging to the wing. In addition, it was clear that if this bird were to stay alive it would be in chronic pain the rest of its life.”

Bald Eagles are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Illegal shooting of protected species is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1,500 fine. These birds are also protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, with a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment.

While this Bald Eagle made headlines, his story is hardly unique. “Unfortunately we see victims of poaching regularly at the Wildlife Care Center and the outcome tends to be death,” explained Lacy. “Each year we receive many animals that have been shot illegally, everything from Bald Eagles to Great Blue Herons, and the wounds they receive are often untreatable.”

This adult was poached during breeding season, leading Portland Audubon to believe that it was likely a breeding male with a mate and a nest, one he was never able to return to.

If you have any information regarding the illegal shooting of this Bald Eagle, please contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Portland Audubon and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have offered cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for this crime. Portland Audubon offered $1,500 and ALDF offered $5,000.

Founded in 1902, the Audubon Society of Portland is one of the oldest conservation organizations in the nation. It promotes the understanding, enjoyment and protection of native birds, other wildlife and their habitats through its conservation and environmental education programs, its 150-acre Nature Sanctuary and Nature Store in northwest Portland, and its Wildlife Care Center. For more information, call 503-292-6855 or visit www.audubonportland.org.

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