Memphis, TN, United States (4E) – The bald eagle named “Abe,” that was shot earlier this month, died this weekend at the Mid-South Raptor Center in east Memphis, Tennessee.
According to the center’s director, Knox Martin, he was disappointed but not surprised by the bald eagle’s death last Saturday because “he never really improved. He just didn’t get any better.”
The wounded adult eagle was found by a driver on the side of the road in Hardeman County.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials said the eagle appeared to have been shot in mid-flight.
It underwent a four hour surgery to repair a broken leg and shattered wing, and was brought recently to the Raptor Center for rehabilitation.
“This is our national bird and some idiot with a shotgun blew it out of the sky,” said veterinarian Dr. David Hannon from the Memphis Veterinary Specialists in Cordova.
He added that is just appalling that there are people who would do that.
Martin said although Abe’s surgery went well, he just could not bounce back.
He explained that “It never showed any real improvement, it never ate on its own, it never really stood up or perched.”
Naturalist David Haggard, who drove from Reelfoot State Park to pick up the eagle Monday, said that it is very upsetting to have an eagle shot.
Abe’s body is now on its way to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Eagle Repository in Colorado.
Dr. Hannon said a post mortem will be performed to determine the exact cause of the eagle’s death.
Wildlife authorities believe the bird was shot on purpose.
It is a federal offense to shoot an eagle and nobody has been charged with the shooting.
There is a $7,500 reward for anyone with information that could lead to an arrest.