ROCKY POINT, NC (WECT) - An adult male Bald Eagle was injured recently in Pamlico County. Dr. Joni Seymour a veterinarian with the Cape Fear Raptor Center in Rocky Point believes someone shot it intentionally.
"It was someone that was just shooting at anything that flew by or it was someone that thought let's take this big bird out of the sky," Seymour stated.
Seymour received the bird after someone rescued it. They say more than 20-30 pellets went through the eagle's wing, injuring him so badly he went in for intensive four surgery to repair the large fracture on Tuesday. Three pellets are still lodged in the bird's wing.
Seymour believes with its recognizable features and unique characteristics, the shooting could not have been committed by a hunter.
"This bird is an adult. He has a white head and a white tail there is no mistaking him, and they are apex predators. They are like shooting a lion you do not shoot beautiful animals like this," she said.
The Bald Eagle is covered under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection act, injuring or killing an eagle is against state and federal laws. According to the N.C. Wildlife Commission it can be punishable by a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Seymour says the bird will stay at the Cape Fear Raptor Center for about six months undergoing rehabilitation where they hope it will fly again.
"This eagle has a really good temperament, so if he cannot fly well enough to hunt on his own he would make a very good education eagle for an organization," Seymour said.
The cost of medication, food and care for the bird could run up to $10,000.