Bald eagle shot in Fort Walton Beach, agencies seeking information

November 4, 2010

This Southern Bald Eagle stands perched on dead tree on Western Lake. Agencies are seeking information leading to arrest of whoever shot and killed an eagle in Fort Walton Beach Oct. 15. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Sizeable reward offered for information leading to arrest

Two agencies are offering rewards for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever shot a bald eagle Oct. 15 in Fort Walton Beach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a reward of up to $1,000 through its Wildlife Alert Reward Program for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot the eagle.  The Wildlife Alert number is 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Separately, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) can pay a reward up to $2,500 under the federal Bald Eagle Protection Act if information leads to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.  The FWS law enforcement number is 352-429-1037.

The mature eagle was found dead with a bullet wound to its neck in a yard at 2nd Avenue and Beachwater Drive.  It was initially believed the eagle died after flying into a power line.  However, Dr. Natalie Dyson at St. Francis Veterinary Center in Navarre examined the bird and discovered the bullet wound.
“Right now we need someone to come forward and report whoever did this,” said Lt. Keith Clark, FWC area supervisor.  “The caller can collect a nice reward, assuming the information pans out.”

The eagle died clutching a coot, a water bird it apparently had just caught.