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Crime & Courts

Bald eagle death on Fairbanks university campus investigated

FAIRBANKS - The death of a bald eagle found at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is under investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an official said.

Wildlife service criminal investigator Jim Wessel said the eagle appears to have been shot, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Wednesday.

The bird's carcass was discovered May 21 in a wooded area near a parking lot on the university campus, said UAF spokeswoman Marmian Grimes.

A veterinary clinic used X-rays to determine there were metal fragments in the bird, Wessel said.

The carcass will be sent to a fish and wildlife service forensics laboratory for further analysis.

"From there they'll help to determine the exact cause of death," Wessel said.

The bald eagle has been a federally protected animal since 1940. Killing bald eagles is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, Wessel said.

The university police department posted a notice on its social media page Tuesday offering a reward for information leading to a conviction in the killing of the eagle.

The university has also posted fliers and plans to include information about the bird's death in the employee newsletter, Grimes said.

“I’m hopeful that somebody out there has seen something, knows something and will be able to lead us in the right direction,” Wessel said.