MIAMI — State wildlife officials are seeking tips after a female Bald Eagle was found west of Miami suffering from a gunshot wound.
“I got a call about it being injured from a landowner west of Miami and they had seen it the last couple of days,” said Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Game Warden Jason Adair.
He attempted to catch the bird, which had been perched on a tree over a pond along SH 10. However, the eagle fell into the water.
Adair contacted ODWC fisheries technician Kendel Robbins, who was nearby, and Robbins was able to bring it back to shore.
Adair said he took the eagle to the Tulsa Zoo Sunday morning to be treated.
‘They looked it over, took it in and was able to tell by X-rays that the eagle had been shot,” Adair said.
Bullet shrapnel was removed from the breast and the right wing was treated. Adair said the eagle received antibiotics, medicine for pain relief as well as fluids.
“It’s doing good, but it will take two or three months for complete treatment and rehabilitation,” Adair said Monday afternoon. “She (the Tulsa Zoo veterinarian) kinda has her doubts whether that eagle will ever fly again. We’ve got our fingers crossed that it will. We will just have to wait and see.”
Adair said it’s a federal offense to shoot a Bald Eagle.
He’s encouraging the public, if they have any tips, to contact him at 918-533-2679 or call the Operation Game Thief Hotline at 800-522-4572.
“Right now, I don't have a whole lot of information regarding it, but I do encourage the public if they know something about it to call me or get hold of us,” Adair said. “They can remain anonymous, but if it was intentional or accidental, we need to know.”
Adair said the eagle had been shot with a small caliber bullet.
If anyone is apprehended, the case will be turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Adair said eagles begin nesting in January.
“We’re not sure where her nest was, but we can say if she had laid some eggs, I doubt they survive because the male can’t provide care, protect the nest and feed them by himself,” Adair said.
He said the Tulsa Zoo vet said there’s a high possibility that the male already has abandoned the nest.