Officials seek poacher who killed Iowa eagle; took head, talons

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa conservation officers say they're looking for a poacher who shot a bald eagle and removed its head and talons.

A hiker discovered the bird's carcass Wednesday, Jan. 25, in Yellow Banks County Park near the Des Moines River. Bald eagles are a protected species under state and federal law, the Des Moines Register reports.

A news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the state of decomposition of the carcass has made it difficult to estimate when the eagle died.

“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,” said State Conservation Officer Nate Anderson.  “It’s hard to estimate how long the eagle has been dead due to the warmer temperatures and the state of the eagle’s remains.”

State Conservation Officer Nate Anderson says anyone with tips or knowledge of the killing can use the Turn in Poachers website at http://www.iowadnr.gov/tip or by calling the hotline at 1-800-532-2020. Information may be left anonymously.