ANAHUAC (KHOU) -The Chambers County Sheriff believes someone intentionally shot a bald eagle and left it to die near Fort Anahuac Park.
"Nothing surprises me anymore," said Sheriff Brian Hawthorne. "I can't fathom why someone would want to shoot a bald eagle."
A landowner found the injured bird in a pasture Monday morning and called the sheriff's office. A game warden took it to the Wildlife Center of Texas in Houston, where sadly, it had to be euthanized.
"It was in pretty bad condition," said Wildlife Center Executive Director Sharon Schmalz. "The beak was almost totally severed and it was blind in one eye."
Veterinarians were not able to determine for sure how the animal was injured, or confirm that it was indeed from gunfire, but Chambers County investigators believe someone intentionally harmed the eagle.
"If my deputies looked at it and told me it was a gunshot wound, I would have to take that at face value," said Sheriff Hawthorne.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commission will conduct a necropsy.
In the meantime, Chambers County Crime Stoppers and Operation Game Thief are offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot the eagle.
Deputies say injuring an eagle is a federal crime, punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.