PEI

P.E.I. wildlife officials seeking leads on who shot bald eagle

A bald eagle found wounded on the weekend is getting treatment at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown.  

Staff at the Atlantic Veterinary College are treating the injured adult male eagle

A radiograph image taken by the AVC Wildlife Service shows one pellet, the small circle at the left, ended up embedded in the phalanges at the eagle's wing tip, an important section of bones to which the primary flight feathers are attached. (Atlantic Veterinary College/submitted)

A bald eagle found wounded on the weekend is getting treatment at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown.  

The injured raptor was found in the York/Covehead Road area on Saturday. 

An examination at AVC concluded the adult male eagle had been shot. 

A radiograph image taken by the AVC Wildlife Service shows one pellet ended up embedded in the bones at the eagle's wing tip, to which the primary flight feathers are attached.

Wade MacKinnon, the manager of investigation and enforcement with the P.E.I. Department of Justice and Public Safety, said the amount of shotgun pellets found in the bird suggest "someone focused on it and fired."

He added that it was obvious the eagle had been injured for a while when it was found.  

"The body mass was very small. The eagle was very, extremely thin," he said.

In March of this year, wildlife officials told CBC News that there are about 65 breeding pairs of bald eagles on the Island. The number of non-nesting juveniles is unknown. (Brian McInnis/CBC)

MacKinnon said the person responsible for shooting the bird could face a fine, possible loss of his or her firearm and a suspension from hunting.

Provincial conservation officers have issued an appeal for anyone who knows anything about how the eagle came to be wounded to come forward. 

To reach conservation officers in Charlottetown, call (902) 368-4884. People have the option to remain anonymous about the information they are providing. 

MacKinnon said the bald eagle population on the Island is considered very healthy these days. 

In March, wildlife officials told CBC News there are about 65 breeding pairs of bald eagles on Prince Edward Island, with an unknown number of juveniles. The population has been steadily increasing since the 1980s. 

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