Bald eagle encounters were rare because they were considered endangered in the mid-1900s. Due to conservation efforts, they are now considered as a “least concern.” Today, seeing a bald eagle is not as rare as it used to be, especially if you know where and when to look.
However, this amazing encounter is one of a kind. You don’t see a bald eagle commit a federal crime against another bald eagle every day, or so it seems. Is this video the aftermath of an epic battle between two bald eagles? Is there something more to this incident? Let us look closely at this video and see the truth behind it.
Many speculations surrounded the video. One theory is based on the fact that bald eagles mate for life. Like conventional human relationships, bald eagles test their mates and stick with them until their last breath. This heartbreaking theory implies that the live eagle is displaying distressing behaviors, such as an open beak and heavy breathing, because it is trying to protect and revive its dead mate. Commenters assumed the eagle was plucking the feathers because it was the eagle’s way of testing if its mate was still alive.
Unfortunately, more brutal and gruesome theories were implied, displaying the natural survival instincts of animals. Bald eagles are also scavengers, which means that apart from hunting live prey, they may also feed on carcasses. Scavenging usually happens during winter or when prey is scarce.
Whichever theory is correct, we must protect bald eagles at all costs
Is It a Federal Crime To Kill a Bald Eagle?
Yes, it is a federal crime to kill a bald eagle. However, you don’t need to kill a bald eagle to face a federal charge. You will serve jail time if you hunt, possess, sell, or even attempt to sell living or dead bald eagles, including their body parts, feathers, nests, or eggs.
In 1940, the US government enacted the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, prohibiting anyone from taking bald or golden eagles, including their parts. The violator of the act needs to pay a fine of $100,000 and serve a one-year imprisonment for the first offense. The second offense would be a felony, which gets you imprisoned for more than one year.
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