Monday, May 20, 2013


LIGONIER -- Pennsylvania Game Commission Southwest Region Director Pat Anderson today announced the agency is seeking information on the illegal shooting of a mature Bald Eagle in Allegheny Township, Cambria County.
The eagle was found injured by a concerned citizen on May 10 in the vicinity of Lincoln and Sharpe roads in Allegheny Township and reported to the commission. Wildlife conservation Officer Shawn Harshaw responded and was led to the injured bird by the caller. The injured eagle was captured and taken to the state vet laboratory in State College where the bird later died of its wounds. A necropsy of the bird indicated that it had suffered at least one gunshot wound.
"WCO Harshaw is investigating this incident and we are looking for any information that may lead to the successful prosecution of the person or persons responsible," Anderson said. "This was a senseless act. Although still rare, only recently have sightings of eagles become more common in Pennsylvania. The fact that someone shot one is an absolute shame."
"I am asking the public for help," Harshaw said. "If anyone knows or hears anything about this incident, I encourage them to call our regional office. Any information we do receive will be held in strict confidence. This senseless act sickens me and I will pursue every lead to find the responsible person or persons and bring them to justice."
The agency’s Southwest Regional office number is 724-238-9523. The Game Commission’s TIP Hotline number is 1-888-PGC-8001. Anyone providing information leading to the arrest of the shooter or shooters may be eligible for a monetary reward.
In 1983, the Game Commission began a seven-year bald eagle restoration program in which the agency sent employees to Saskatchewan to obtain eaglets from wilderness nests. The Richard King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh and the federal Endangered Species Fund provided financial assistance for this effort. In all, 88 bald eaglets from Canada were released from sites at Dauphin County’s Haldeman Island and Pike County’s Shohola Falls. The reintroduction effort along with improving environmental conditions led to the resurgence of the eagles in Pennsylvania.
When the restoration program began in 1983, only three Crawford County nests remained in the state. By 2006, the agency announced that the state had surpassed the 100 bald eagle nest mark. Just five years later, in 2011, the number of known bald eagle nests had doubled to 203 spread out over 50 counties.
The Game Commission currently classifies the bald eagle as a threatened species in Pennsylvania. They were removed from the federal endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007, because delisting goals had been achieved

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