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Injured Bald Eagle found in Franklin suspected to have been shot

Wisconsin DNR seeking tips in investigation

Update 12/13/2022: We are heartbroken to share that the Bald Eagle -- admitted to WHS last Wednesday after suffering injuries from a suspected gunshot -- has died. He made it through his initial surgery last Thursday, but went into cardiac arrest Monday night during a complex and specialized surgery to stabilize his fracture and further treat his injuries. Despite lifesaving efforts, including CPR, he was unable to be resuscitated. We cannot thank the community enough for the compassion and support shown for this special patient while our team of wildlife rehabilitators worked tirelessly over the past several days trying to save him. We appreciate the heroic efforts of the expert medical team at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital Milwaukee, and the officials with the DNR, whom we have been working with closely on this case.  We are mourning the loss of this eagle alongside our community. If you have any tips that may be useful in identifying whoever may have been involved in his injury, please contact the DNR Tip Line at 1-800-847-9367 to make an anonymous report. He was initially discovered last Wednesday, December 7 in Franklin. Thank you.

Milwaukee - The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is caring for a Bald Eagle found in Franklin last Wednesday after he suffered a fracture of the humerus bone in his wing, as well as a substantial wound at the fracture site, leaving him debilitated on the ground. The tip of his beak was also broken. Fortunately, he was discovered and brought to WHS by a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Warden.

The eagle had emergency surgery at the Blue Pearl Hospital and Specialty Care in Glendale - Avian and Exotics Service to stabilize the fracture site. Exam results indicate that the fracture was suspected to be a result of a gunshot injury. His blood work also revealed an elevated level of lead toxicity, and additional bloodwork and diagnostic tests are still pending. 

Eagles and their nests are federally protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Under the Eagle Protection Act, wounding or killing an eagle can result in a fine of $100,000 and one year in prison for a first offense, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A second violation is a felony and carries heftier punishments.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking for any and all tips that may be useful in identifying the responsible party or parties.  To make an anonymous report, contact the DNR Tip Line at 1-800-847-9367.

“As long as he continues to improve and gain strength, he’ll have additional surgery in the coming days to ensure alignment of the bone as he heals,” said Crystal Sharlow-Schaefer, WHS wildlife director.  “It’s far too early to tell how he’ll do, and his prognosis is heavily guarded, but we’re doing everything we can to give him a fighting chance to survive.”

The Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is Milwaukee County’s only licensed facility to care for injured and orphaned native wild animals. They do not receive any government funding and rely on the support of the community to fund their lifesaving work. To make a contribution to the Bald Eagle’s medical care, please visit or call 414-431-6119. 


  • Monday, December 12, 2022