RAINIER, Ore. -- X-rays show nearly three dozen shotgun pellets in the head, neck, body and both wings of a large female bald eagle found injured on the beach last month, and now investigators are offering a $1,000 reward for the identity of the person who shot the bird.
Two horseback riders found found the injured eagle near the western portion of Dibblee Point Beach on the Columbia River near Rainier, a small town about 50 miles northwest of Portland, Ore.
Two Oregon State Police troopers responded to the scene, found the eagle, and used a blanket to contain and capture the bird.
The troopers took the eagle to Wildlife Center of the North Coast for a physical evaluation.
WCNC Director Sharnelle Fee said digital radiographs conducted at Bayshore Animal Hospital revealed the eagle was shot and that nearly three dozen shotgun BBs were found throughout its body, including about seven in its head.
One of the BBs was near the eagle's eye and may cause vision problems.
Fee believes the eagle probably would not have been able to travel very far with the injuries it sustained. She said the eagle is recovering well and was moved to an outside flight pen over the weekend.
Anyone with information to help in this investigation is asked to contact Trooper Schwartz at (503) 397-0325, ext. 42.
Bald eagles are no longer considered endangered species, but the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, first passed in 1940 and updated in 1972, makes it illegal to pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect or disturb a bald eagle.
The act also prohibits the possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg.
Civil penalties for violating the act carry fines of up to $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment.