Shocking: Juvenile Bald Eagle Dies from Gunshot Wound on Christmas Eve in Southwest Virginia Wildlife Shelter

ROANOKE, Va. – A young bald eagle succumbed to a gunshot wound on Christmas Eve, causing sorrow at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Shelter. The bird, weighing just under ten pounds, was admitted from Wythe County after eluding capture for over a week.

The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center expressed deep sadness over the loss of the juvenile bald eagle, who ultimately did not survive the severe gunshot wound and its resulting injuries. The center confirmed through X-rays that the bird had been struck by a bullet, with fragments found in its wing.

Executive director Chester Leonard lamented the eagle’s death, stating, “Animals deserve so much better.” Leonard also emphasized that the incident was not an accident, firmly believing that someone intentionally shot the bald eagle.

The shooting of a bald eagle is a serious crime, and the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center urged anyone with information about the incident to contact the Department of Wildlife Resources at 1-800-237-5712. The center referred to the incident as a “horrific crime,” denouncing the intentional harm caused to the magnificent bird.

The death of the young bald eagle serves as a tragic reminder of the importance of protecting and preserving the wildlife in Southwest Virginia. It also highlights the need for greater awareness and efforts to prevent such heinous acts against protected species.