Injured bald eagle found in Vernon River euthanized

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Bald eagle file photo. Photo by Paul H. Schurman

The person who shot a bald eagle in P.E.I. should face a severe fine, says an enforcement official.

“It’s just a wanton waste crime,’’ says Wade MacKinnon, manager of investigation and enforcement with the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice.

“If anyone is caught we are going to prosecute them to the full extent (of the P.E.I. Wildlife Conservation Act).’’

Under the Act, a person can be fined between $200 and $10,000 for shooting birds of prey like eagles, hawks, owls and ospreys.

MacKinnon says a staff member of the Avondale Golf Course found an injured eagle on June 23 on the 17th hole.

The bird – a mature female eagle - was able to hop, but unable to fly.

MacKinnon says the bird was emaciated and likely had not eaten in a few weeks.

The eagle was taken to the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown. The bird was euthanized due to its poor condition that included missing part of a wing and other trauma to the body.

A necropsy found that the bird had been shot.

MacKinnon says this is the fourth report in the past five years of an eagle having been shot in the province.

The public’s assistance is being sought in tracking the culprit. Any person with information on the crime can call the P.E.I. Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or call Wade MacKinnon at 902-368-4808.

“We’re looking for public support,’’ says MacKinnon.

“It’s a serious wildlife crime.’’

He says the eagle population has grown substantially over the last dozen years in P.E.I. with more than 75 active nests existing in the province today.

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