Bald eagle butchered, left in plastic bag in southern Minnesota

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened a criminal investigation after a bald eagle was found butchered and stuffed into a plastic bag just south of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The dead eagle was left on Minnesota Department of Transportation property in Freeborn County.

"The eagle was found in a plastic bag, breasted out, with its talons and a portion of one leg missing," the service said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any responsible party. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is assisting with the investigation. If you have any information relating to this incident, please contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement at 651-778-8360 or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-652-9093.

Bald eagles are protected by the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The killing or possession of a bald eagle or its parts is punishable by a sentence of one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.