Charges were filed against two people in southeast Georgia after a dead bald eagle was found at a residence, authorities said.
The situation came about this week when state Department of Natural Resources ranger Jason Miller received information about someone who had a dead bald eagle, Miller told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The person was making inquiries about having the bird mounted as well, Miller said.
Miller, Sgt. Brian Hobbins of the DNR and Todd Hutchins of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office went to the residence and questioned a man and a woman, Miller said.
Officials found the eagle in a freezer in an outbuilding on the property, Miller said.
“I can’t determine how this bird was killed at the moment,” Miller said. A necropsy is scheduled for Thursday.
The officials also found a dead wood duck in the freezer, Miller said.
The man, James Joshua Sharpe, 30, faces multiple wildlife-related charges, according to Miller. The woman, Margaret Anne Jacob, 29, also is charged in connection with the eagle’s death.
The eagle-related charge is unlawful possession of birds or parts, Miller said.
All of the charges are misdemeanors, Miller said.
The eagle and duck were seized as evidence and can be donated to an educational institution when the case is settled, according to a DNR post on Facebook.
“Most people realize that eagles are protected by state and federal law,” the DNR said in the post, “but all other non-game migratory birds, which included all common songbirds, are protected as well by the Migratory Bird Act.”
Said Miller: “It’s our national bird. That’s why we do what we do.”
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