CUMBERLAND, Md. (WJZ) — A startling discovery in western Maryland has Department of Natural Resources Police trying to find who killed one of the nation’s most protected birds.

As Derek Valcourt explains, someone gunned down a bald eagle.

DNR officials say it’s the first bald eagle to be shot in Maryland in nearly 10 years.

Majestic and regal, they are the national bird. They were brought back from the brink of extinction in the 90s, to the delight of bird watchers—who consider themselves lucky to spot one. That is why the discovery Friday of a dead bald eagle in Evitts Creek along Hazen Road in Cumberland is so alarming. DNR Police were called to private property where a homeowner found the eagle shot to death, halfway submerged in the water, sparking an investigation.

“We’re interviewing some local hunters that have permission to hunt those properties,” said DNR Police Sgt. Brian Albert.

Though bald eagles are now off of the endangered species list and thriving—especially in the densely wooded areas of western Maryland—DNR Police point out they are still protected, making hunting and killing them illegal.

“Everyone knows that, from someone who lives in downtown Baltimore to out here in western Maryland,” Albert said.

It was one of more than 500 nesting pairs currently estimated to live in Maryland. It’s a loss bird watchers say someone should be held accountable for.

“That’s the American bird. That’s just wrong,” said Dawn Lison. “They’re beautiful. They basically show the strength [of] our nation [which] was built on a bird. I just can’t imagine someone wanting to shoot one.”

The punishment for killing a bald eagle is up to a year in jail and $100,000 in fines.

Anyone with information on the eagle shooting is urged to call DNR Police or the poacher hotline at 1-800-635-6124.

Comments (10)
  1. DarrylDaMisfit says:

    A bigger article on a Bird being shot and killed than a human being in Baltimore City….. Dam Shame!!!!!!

    1. moran says:

      Like it is a big surprise someone shot someone eles in the city. You fools in the city are killing each other by the 100’s every year. You should be proud Baltimore had twice as many killing than DC as June this year.

  2. Can't Fix Stupid says:

    This should be considered an act of Terrorism. This bird is our National Symbol (for as much as a joke as our Nation is right now) and is protected by law. This is also an act of animal abuse. Whoever did this obviously has no respect for anything other then their own miserable existence.

  3. Mike says:

    I just love the hypocrites that post on this site.
    The blacks can speak about white people anyway they want but have a fit and yell racism when a white person expresses an opinion.
    Also, this site allows every redneck in town to bash the gay community over and over in their comments, but noone takes offense to that.
    IF you don’t like what people have to say then don’t read the comments.
    I am sure that this will be blocked or removed because there is some black person that will report my comment as racist.

  4. Bald Eagle? says:

    I know that our national symbol is the Bald Eagle, and I respect that.

    But, who was it that initially decided on this bird, to represent our country?

    Most people know very little about the Bald Eagle species. Very sad too.

    Bald Eagles are (for the most part) scavengers. While they do hunt for food, they will gladly feast upon something dead and rotting, when available. They also fight, amongst themselves, over food.

    Had the person (that made the decision to name the Bald Eagle as our national symbol) been more educated about the species, he might have made a different choice.

    Just saying.

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