Authorities search for suspect who shot and killed female bald eagle near her nest

Authorities in Arkansas are searching for a suspect who shot and killed a female bald eagle that was likely tending to her nest just before her death.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) are conducting a joint investigation into the death of the bird, which was found in Drew County on March 28, according to a press release.

The eagle's body was transferred to Little Rock Zoo, where it was determined she died from a gunshot wound. 

Although bald eagles are no longer considered an endangered species, the national birds remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Lacey Act. Those who harm the regal creatures and are found guilty of violating these acts may face up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"A reward of up to $6,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible," the AGFC said in a statement.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the Stop Poaching Hotline at 800-482-9262.

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