Wildlife Officers Searching For Person Who Shot, Injured Bald Eagle In Summit County

Apr 23, 2021, 2:43 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm

OGDEN, Utah — A bald eagle was recovering from surgery to remove a bullet after it was shot last month near Henefer in Summit County.

Division of Wildlife Resources officers received a call on April 2 from someone who reported that the eagle had been shot.

A Utah Highway Patrol Officer captured the wounded animal near the Weber River, west of I-84, then had it transferred it to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.

As doctors checked out the bird, they determined that a small-caliber bullet broke a wing and lodged into the eagle’s neck.

“Even with the CT Scan to locate the bullet slug, it was a very long exploratory surgery as the slug kept moving around,” read a Facebook post from the rehab center. “This bullet was in his neck, so Dr. Kirk had to worry about damaging muscle or hitting one of the main arteries in the region. Halfway through, the Eagle had to go back for another CT scan to find where it had moved and then back to the surgery table to continue the search.”

The doctor successfully removed the slug, and the eagle was given pain medication and antibiotics while it recovered. 

Officers believed the animal was shot in late March, before it was rescued.

DWR said bald eagles were no longer considered endangered species, but they continue to be protected by federal laws.

“Bald and golden eagles, along with their feathers and parts, nests, nest trees, and roosts are all federally protected,” a DWR news release said.

DWR officials said there was a reward for anyone with information about the injured eagle. They were told to contact 800-662-3337.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center started taking donations to cover costs for the operation and recovery.

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Wildlife Officers Searching For Person Who Shot, Injured Bald Eagle In Summit County