Bald eagles are beautiful, majestic birds of prey that are protected by federal law, yet one was found shot to death and then dismembered in Iowa on Wednesday.
Fox News is reporting that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said that the eagle’s body was found at the Yellow Banks County Park near Des Moines. A hiker was in the area this week when they came across the dead eagle then alerted authorities.
Now a manhunt is underway for whoever committed the egregious crime.
“We don’t have much to go on so we need some help. If anyone saw or heard shots in this area during the first two weeks of the year, we would like to know about it,” State Conservation Officer Nate Anderson said in a statement.
The eagle was apparently shot to death before having both its head and talons cut off of its body. Unfortunately, the dismemberment makes it harder for wildlife officials to determine its exact time of death.
Bald eagles have been protected at the state and federal levels since the 1940s, and aside from that they’re our national symbol, making the crime even more outrageous.