The Strange Case of a Bald Eagle Killing in Boulder

June 5 2009, 10:25 AM

In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the federal Endangered Species list. Yet, the national bird--a symbol of freedom and liberty to Americans and sacred for time immemorial to American Indians--is protected by a web of other laws, including one here in Colorado that calls for penalties up to $100,000 and one year in jail for anyone who poaches the bird, writes 7News. That's why Colorado Division of Wildlife officials are investigating the bizarre beheading death of a bald eagle, its carcass found ceremonially wrapped in a red cloth in Boulder County's Legion Park Hill, the tail feathers and talons missing, according to CBS4. Peter Reshetniak, of the Raptor Education Foundation, says bald eagle parts have immense value on the black market: $500 for a feather. And "if it's a really good head on a staff, it's [worth] $1,000." It's not clear, however, if money is what motivated the eagle's killer. A spokesman for the sheriff's office notes a poacher probably wouldn't have left the eagle where it could be so easily found, according to the Daily Camera. "We're just scratching our heads," the spokesman says. "This was just an oddity."

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