A $20,000 reward is being offered to “flush out” the “gutless human” responsible for blasting an eagle full of shotgun pellets.
Found in Birchs Bay, south of Hobart on Tuesday, X-rays show the wedge-tailed eagle shot through its neck, legs and wings.
Left heartbroken by the discovery, Tasmanian raptor rescuer Craig Webb took to social media, announcing the money will be provided to anyone with information leading to a conviction.
Mr Webb said there has been lot of “emotion and anger online” since he announced the shooting with many venting their frustration in the comments section under his post.
“What a disgrace the way these beautiful birds are being impacted by morons,” wrote one person.
“Very sorry to hear these mongrels are out there. Hope we get them,” another comment read.
“What a cowardly act. I hope the reward is successful and the person convicted,” said someone else.
'People want something done about this'
Wedge-tailed eagles are an endangered species in Tasmania, but despite being protected they are dying in concerning numbers.
It’s not the first time Mr Webb has raised funds to find those responsible for harming raptors, and his initiative has been successful in the past.
The discovery of the injured eagle comes one week after Mr Webb and the team at wildlife rescue group Raptor Refuge attended to another bird found with its talons hacked off.
Mr Webb said while car strikes and powerlines frequently claim the lives of eagles, shootings are less common and occur about every six months.
“(Shootings) used to be a bit more prevalent but it’s less these days thankfully, but it’s still completely unacceptable,” he said.
“People want something done about this, the Raptor Refuge is dealing with so many birds of prey.
“Hardly a week goes by that we’re not dealing with a dead eagle or two. It’s hard work, absolutely.”
The eagle is currently in care and Raptor Refuge are seeking new members to help finance rescues.
Tasmania's department of environment (DPIPWE) confirmed they are investigating the eagle being shot, adding that killing or interfering with native wildlife is illegal in Tasmania without a relevant licence or permit.
Anyone with information about suspected wildlife offences can contact Raptor Rescue on 1800RAPTOR (1800 727 867), DPIPWE Investigations and Enforcement Section on 0417 661 234, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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