A 25-year-old bald eagle that was electrocuted when it attempted to perch on a power pole crossbar on Alaska's Kodiak Island in 2011 was described as one of the 10 oldest wild bald eagles on record, and the second oldest in Alaska history, in news accounts of its death.
New Hampshire wildlife officials said a 19-year-old bald eagle also found dead in 2011 near Hancock, N.H., was the oldest-known member of its species ever found in that state.
"We're hopeful of getting some feedback from the public on anything they might have heard or seen" regarding the shooting of the eagle, Cool said.
A reward of up to $2,500 will be paid for information leading to an arrest and conviction, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
While bald eagles are no longer protected under federal endangered species laws, they are covered by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which carries a penalty of up to $100,000 and one year in prison for first-time offenders.
West Virginia laws provide for fines of up to $5,000 and one year in jail, plus a $5,000 "replacement" fee for causing the injury or death of an eagle.
DNR law enforcement officials and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Bryce Findley are investigating the eagle's shooting death.
"It would have been nice to have been able to rehabilitate and release this eagle," said O'Malley. "She had to have contributed to the bald eagle population growth to some extent. Who knows how much longer she could have lived."
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.