Tennessee and federal wildlife officials are offering up to a $2,500 reward for information about a bald eagle discovered shot dead in Bledsoe County about a mile east of state Highway 101 and Big Springs Gap Road.
A veterinarian's exam confirmed the eagle, an adult with a white head and tail, had been shot, according to a release from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
"Recent investigations show that bald and golden eagle feathers and talons can be worth thousands of dollars on the black market," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent Bo Stone said.
But "the responsible party who shot this eagle just left it to rot," Stone said. "The bald eagle holds a special place in the heart of every American. We intend to prosecute the responsible party to the fullest extent of the law."
Anyone with information about the eagle should call Special Agent Bo Stone at 865-692-4024, or Bledsoe County Wildlife Officer Mark Patterson with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at 800-262-6704.