The poisoning deaths of 13 bald eagles earlier this year will go unpunished, at least as far as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is concerned.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the agency has announced it was not able to establish who killed the iconic animals, though it did for the first time confirm that they were poisoned.
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The eagles were killed in February on Maryland's Eastern Shore, near the town of Federalsburg. They had not been shot, and autopsies showed they did not die of natural causes.
The FWS kept much of its remaining investigation under wraps. WBAL-TV reported that the agency's early theory was that the eagles had been poisoned.
In March the Baltimore Sun reported that officials had turned their investigation toward prosecuting those responsible for the deaths, though they did not share details concerning the cause of death.
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While the birds are no longer considered an endangered species, they are still federally protected. Anyone harming them risks fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and possible jail time.
Another multiple-eagle death, this one of five birds in Delaware in March, remains under investigation.
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