The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a $2,500 reward to anyone with information that leads to the conviction of the person responsible for the shooting death of a bald eagle in Boone County, northwest of Indianapolis.

According to a press release provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the eagle was found just west of Thorntown, Indiana in Boone County on March 27th. It was alive at the time of the discovery, however it was "severely emaciated." The gunshot wound was discovered after authorities delivered it to a wildlife rehab center. Investigators believe the shooting had taken place roughly a week before the discovery.

Bald and Golden Eagles are protected under federal law (the appropriately titled Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act), killing or possessing any part of either species of bird carries a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in prison.

Personally, I have no problem with hunting in general, having hunted deer for a few years back in high school, however there are certain species of wildlife that are off limits, and bald eagles are on the top, or near the top of that list. They majestic creatures that have been adopted as not only a symbol of America, but a symbol of the freedom we enjoy.

If you or someone you know has any information regarding the identity of those responsible for the death of this bird, contact the DNR by calling 1-800-847-4367, or through their online Turn in a Poacher form.

[Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service]