A reward is being offered for information in the death of two Golden Eagles, whose bodies were recently found near a hiking trail near Chickaloon. According to Bruce Woods, with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the eagles, a female and an immature male, were found on top of a pile of bait meat and surrounded by snares.
“The Eagles were not in the snares at the time they were found, they were dead, they had not been shot, and they were on top of the bait pile. “
Woods says the eagles were not in the snares when their bodies were discovered, however, and it appears that the bodies were tossed on top of the pile after they had died. He says the bodies were not decomposed, and that the birds had not been shot, although authorities are not releasing more information about the condition of the bodies at this time. Woods says he does not know if there will be a necropsy on the birds.
“There was sufficient evidence on site to indicate what caused the mortality. I do know that our agents are not really saying more information about the cause of mortality as that might be pertinent to the investigation. “
The site of the eagle deaths is Anthracite Ridge, North of the Chickaloon -Knik -Nelchina Trail near Chickaloon.
Fish and Wildlife is offering 2500 dollars for information leading to a conviction in the case. Eagles are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty could result in a 100 thousand dollar fine and/ or a year in federal prison. Woods says more than one violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Act adds up to a serious crime.
“Two violations under that act would raise the status of the crime to a felony. “
Woods says American Indians and Alaska Natives are allowed to use eagle parts and feathers in spiritual ceremonies, although the feathers and parts are kept by the national Eagle Repository near Denver and there is an application for their use. Woods says it is likely the eagles bodies will be sent to the repository.
Anyone with information concerning these eagles is asked to call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement in Anchorage at (907)271-2828.