Two 15-year-old boys are accused of shooting and killing an American bald eagle near Montezuma, Iowa.
Police said the boys shot the eagle Wednesday afternoon, February 12, 2014, as the bird was perched in a tree on farmland in Poweshiek County. A witness reported seeing the bird fall from a tree, and that it was shot again when it was on the ground.
The eagle was reportedly alive when it was taken to All Pets Veterinary Hospital in Grinnell.
The veterinarian there said the second shot went through the eagle’s back and lodged in its chest, paralyzing the bird, according to our sister station WHO-TV.
The eagle died sometime that night.
The witness gave police a description of the teens’ car, and police caught up with them a short time after the shooting happened.
The teens were reportedly charged with carrying loaded weapons in a car and with firing a weapon within 200 yards of an occupied building.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources were investigating the shooting.
Killing an eagle is a federal crime punishable by up to two years in prison or a $250,000 fine.