There is now a $2,500 reward being offered as state wildlife officers work to catch the poacher who shot and killed a bald eagle in a rural area north of Lansing.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the shooting of the federally protected raptor happened in Clinton County, near the Highland Hills Golf Club in DeWitt Township.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a release it has partnered with the DNR investigating the shooting and offering the cash reward for tips or information that lead to an arrest and conviction.
The DNR says officers found the dead bald eagle after responding to a complaint about gunfire near Alward Road at about 11:40 a.m. on Saturday. The caller saw the bird fall from the sky after the gunshots, then took the bald eagle to Sleepy Hollow State Park to turn it into the DNR.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the DNR's Report All Poaching Line at 800-292-7800.
Bald Eagles, the national emblem, are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Michigan Endangered Species Protection law. Under these laws a person may not kill, harass, disturb or otherwise harm bald eagles.
The Associated Press and Michigan Department of Natural Resources contributed to this report.