A bald eagle that was shot near Gaston has been euthanized after it was determined the severity of the injuries would lead to a poor quality of life.
Oregon State Police troopers tracked down the bird in a field off Old Highway 47 in late June.
The Audubon Society of Portland has cared for the bald eagle since that time. Despite expert care and time to heal, it was recently determined the injuries were permanent and the eagle was put down.
"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,” according to Lacy Campbell, the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center manager.
The adult bald eagle was poached during breeding season, leading Audubon Society workers to believe it was likely a breeding male with a mate and a nest.
Bald Eagles are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The illegal shooting of a protected species is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.
The birds are also protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, with a maximum penalty of one year behind bars and a $5,000 fine.
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.
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