IDNR Investigating Possible Illegal Bald Eagle Captivity

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Lake Shelbyville - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is investigating a possible illegal captivity of a bald eagle.

According to the IDNR a bald eagle in a severely weakened state due to being kept illegally in captivity, was euthanized on March 17. Illinois Conservation Police officers responded to a call about an injured eagle in a field near the Lake Shelbyville Wildlife Management Area in Moultrie County.

The eagle made several attempts to fly, but was unable to fly more than 20 yards. After several attempts, the officers were able to capture the bird and deliver it safely to the Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur.

Upon examination by the IRC’s Jacques Nuzzo, it was concluded the eagle likely had been held in captivity for several months. The birds tail feathers were all broken, and its wings were damaged possibly due to contact with a wire cage. The eagle also suffered from broken talons and a staph infection on its foot that can be caused by a lack of a proper place to perch.

The Eagle also was anemic and severely dehydrated. It was transferred to the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic, where after consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was determined the eagle should be euthanized. It is illegal to keep wildlife in captivity without proper permits and inspected facilities. Wildlife rehabilitators also must be permitted and properly trained.

If anyone has any knowledge or information about this eagle, the IDNR T.I.P.S. hotline at 1-877-236-7529.

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