Investigators with the Oregon State Police say they have no leads in the case of a bald eagle that was shot near Gaston and are now asking for the public's help.
The eagle is still alive and is now receiving care at the Audubon Society of Portland.
Troopers first heard about the wounded eagle a week ago tried to capture the bird, but it flew away. They were finally able to secure the male eagle Wednesday and brought it to the Audubon Society.
Lacy Campbell with the Wildlife Care Center at the Audubon Society is part of the team treating the magnificent but wounded bird. They place a hood on the eagle to keep him calm while dressing the animal’s wound.
Campbell told FOX 12 the wound looks fairly new and said it's clear he was shot on both sides of his shoulder.
The shrapnel is visible in X-rays, but those treating the bird said they won't remove the bullet unless it is absolutely necessary.
Campbell also said the wounded bird is getting lots of fluids and pain meds, adding that at 7 pounds, he is very small for an adult male.
While Campbell wants him to grow stronger so he can survive, she doesn't know if he will.
“The eagle is really down, it's really quiet,” she said. “It doesn't have a lot of fight right now.”
Treating poached birds is what the wildlife care center does, but Campbell said it's still hard to look at an eagle that's been shot on purpose.
“There is no other bird that looks like it, so this was deliberate,” she told FOX 12. “I'm not sure what people hope to gain. For some people, it's a thrill to be able to shoot an animal like that. There is a market for eagle parts and eagle feathers.”
The eagle was shot during nesting season and just days before Americans celebrate the nation's birthday.
“This is a breeding male, so it most likely has a nest with some young in it and a female waiting for him to come back,” Campbell explained.
Sarah Peskin brought her young son Kepler to the Audubon Society Thursday and hopes he learns a lesson from this field trip.
“It blows my mind that somebody would even consider doing something like that. It's so not northwest,” Peskin said. “He gets to see them up close, to appreciate them more, and not do things like that.”
At this point, it is not clear if the eagle will ever be able to be released back into the wild.
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