Game wardens in Oklahoma are searching for the person who shot a bald eagle out of a tree in late December.
Photos posted Friday of the regal bird lying dead on a country road outside Broken Arrow have attracted hundreds of comments - mostly angry ones - on the Oklahoma Game Wardens Facebook page.
According to the post, a passerby found the eagle in a rural area of McCurtain county on Dec. 27.
Game warden Kenny Lawson reported that the eagle had been shot out of a tree overhanging the road, the post said. He found a rifle casing at the scene.
Wardens believe the bird was shot with a high-powered rifle.
Broken Bow is near Beavers Bend Resort Park, a state park in southeast Oklahoma that’s home to bald eagles and black bears, according to the Associated Press.
“This time of year we actually get an influx of bald eagles,” game warden Tell Judkins told KXII in Sherman, Texas. “Any way you look at it, it’s irresponsible, it’s wrong and it’s illegal.”
Though they have been delisted under the Endangered Species Act, bald eagles are still federally protected, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Killing one is a felony and anyone convicted of the crime faces two years in prison or a maximum fine of $250,000.
The bird’s death has struck a strong, emotional chord among people leaving comments on the game wardens’ Facebook page.
“This is an absolute disgrace to our country and that bird did nothing to deserve it,” wrote one woman.
The game wardens’ Facebook post has been shared more than 5,000 times.