Two bald eagles poisoned in Thibodaux

The poisoning deaths of two bald eagles in Lafourche Parish prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to offer a $3,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.

The bald eagles were discovered in a field about 50 yards apart near Martinez Road in Thibodaux on April 11, said Sidney Charbonnet, a special agent with the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Charbonnet said the two eagles were found decomposing and had probably been dead a week or so when somebody spotted them and called the authorities.

Testing revealed the eagles had ingested large amounts of poison in late March or early April.

Charbonnet said he didn’t know if the eagles were targeted or not.

Tom MacKenzie, a spokesman for the southeast region of the Fish and Wildlife Service, said agents know what kind of poison killed the eagles but he couldn’t comment further.

MacKenzie said poisoning eagles is rare. He said there has been a rash of eagle shootings in the last year and a half, including shootings in Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky.

MacKenzie said he did remember an eagle eating a dead cat someone left out in the wild, which led to the death of the eagle. That poisoning occurred in South Carolina, MacKenzie said.

Charbonnet said the two dead bald eagles found in Lafourche Parish were mature eagles.

Bald eagles are not endangered but are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, both federal and state wildlife laws. Violations carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $100,000 and/or one year in federal prison.

Anyone with information about the poisonings is asked to contact the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lafayette Office of Law Enforcement at (337) 291-3036 or the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement at (800) 442-2511.