Someone poached and dismembered an eagle in Polk County.
Iowa wildlife authorities are asking the public for leads on an especially strange eagle poaching case where someone not only shot the bird, they also dismembered it.
The incident happened in Polk County's Yellow Banks Park outside of Des Moines. "We don't have much to go on, so we need some help," Iowa DNR conservation officer Nate Anderson told reporters. "If anyone saw or heard shots in this area during the first two weeks of the year, we would like to know about it."
The DNR believes the bird may have been shot up to a week earlier after it was discovered by a hiker last Wednesday. They found shotgun shrapnel in the bird's body and the eagle's talons and head were also removed.
Because hunting is allowed in the park, authorities aren't ruling out a misidentification for a game bird, but Anderson told the Des Moines Register that's no excuse.
"Misidentification does happen," Anderson told the paper. "If somebody would have called me and said, 'I screwed up bad,' things are going to go a lot better than they will at this point."
Spread the word and help authorities catch the person or persons responsible. Tips can be submitted anonymously through Iowa's anti-poaching hotline at 800-532-2020.
Tips can also be submitted through the Iowa DNR's website.
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