Lawmen Investigate Wounded Bald Eagle Near Port St. Joe

Wildlife authorities are hoping someone can provide information about who shot a bald eagle last week near Pleasant Rest Cemetery Road in Gulf County.

The area is just north of the Intra-Coastal Waterway and near the Gulf-Bay County line.

The injured immature eagle was spotted on the road Wednesday, March 29 by two contract biologists doing a plant survey in the area. Dr. Hobson Fulmer, a veterinarian at Eastpoint, operated on the eagle’s damaged left wing Friday morning but had to amputate a portion of it.

Capt. Leroy Alderson, who heads up the Investigations Section for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said someone shot the eagle with a shotgun. He said there likely are witnesses, and if someone provides information that leads to the shooter they will be eligible for a substantial reward from the FWC’s Wildlife Alert program and a separate reward program under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The number to report information is 1-888-404-3922. All callers can remain anonymous.

Barbara Eels, a licensed wildlife rehabilitation expert in St. Joe Beach, now has the approximately five-pound eagle and says she’s doing well but can never be returned to the wild.

“She’s eating one or two mullet a day, but it’s obvious she’s depressed,” Eels said. “It’s a real shame.”

Eels said within the next few weeks the eagle will be transported to the Audubon Birds of Prey Center in Maitland, Fla. She’ll likely remain there or be turned over to someone permitted to house and care for the bird.