Sasktip and conservation officers from the Loon Lake area are searching for suspects who shot a bald eagle near St. Walburg earlier this month.
According to the Sasktip Facebook page, the incident occurred on either Nov. 9 or 10. The animal was found in a tree, and was deceased. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Dorintosh-based wildlife rehabilitator Mark Dallyn said bald eagles are protected in Saskatchewan, and it is very disappointing to hear when shootings occur with birds of prey.
“It’s a very majestic bird, and nobody can tell me they shot [an eagle] to eat it,” he said. “Other than that, to have a bird that was so close to being endangered and finally coming back in the province, and having someone shoot it for no reason is disappointing,” said Dallyn.
Dallyn treats between two to four of these birds each year at Healing Haven Wildlife Rescue, and while most have been hit by cars he has encountered the birds being treated for gunshot wounds.
“Bald eagles are protected by the Ministry of Environment in Saskatchewan,” he said. “They’re not to be hurt or shot or kept by anyone other than a wildlife rehabber. As a rehabber, you always wonder if it’s one of yours that you’ve spent hours and hours on making better, and finally got to release it, and for that to be its final demise is disgusting.”
Dallyn said he appreciates the work that conservation officers and Sasktip do to get the word out about matters like this.
“I’m very happy with the work they do handling all that,” he said. “We do work closely with them if we do get an injured one in that has been shot, so we let them know right away and the investigation takes place.”
According to Inspector Daryl Minter, Compliance Manager of the Conservation Officer Service, fines for shooting a bald eagle can be up to $100,000, and the hunting equipment used can also be forfeited to the Crown.
Sasktip encourages anyone with information regarding this case to contact the toll-free Turn In Poachers line 1-800-667-7561, dial #5555 from a Sasktel cellphone, or report online at saskatchewan.ca/tip.
On Twitter @ReporterKath
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