Iowa Department of Natural Resources via Facebook/Lock Up: Sioux City
Iowa wildlife officials display a golden eagle that was found shot in the western part of the state, near the Nebraska border, on February 18 or 19.

'Homicide With Wildlife': Iowa Authorities Seek Golden Eagle Killer


Authorities in Iowa are seeking the killer or killers of a golden eagle that was found shot in the northwestern part of the state late last week.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said the eagle was killed either on Tuesday February 18 or early on Wednesday the 19th, according to an announcement on the Lock Up: Sioux City Facebook page, which consists of messages from the Iowa municipality’s police blotter.

“There have been other cases of eagles recently shot in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska by what appears to be an organized group of individuals looking to sell them on the black market,” the notice said. “Harrison County residents are encouraged to report any activity that may lead to the arrest and/or conviction of these poachers.”

However this does not appear to be a poaching incident, a state wildlife official told KETV in Omaha, Nebraska, because the perpetrator did not climb the tree to retrieve the majestic bird, which authorities found in Woodbine, near the Nebraska border.

“There's no reason for someone to go out and shoot such a beautiful bird such as that,” said David Tierney, a state conservation officer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, to KETV. “It's a homicide with wildlife, and that's how we investigate it.”

He told the television station that the crime, though classified as a simple misdemeanor for a first offense, carries a $250,000 fine and one year in jail. He said the natural resources department is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the killers. Authorities are encouraging anyone with information to contact the state’s Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-532-2020 or report it confidentially online.


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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I can't understand how it's not a poaching incident if they suspect that an organized group is doing it to sell feathers on the black market. Either way, killing an eagle should carry a stiffer fine and jail time.