Authorities discovered 13 dead bald eagles on a farm in Maryland this past weekend.
A man called the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) after he saw four dead eagles in a field. DNR officials found nine more after they searched the field.
No one knows how the eagles died.
“It could end up being a case of someone using poison to eliminate rodents, and that the bald eagles were attracted to the dead, but poisoned, carcasses and became sick themselves,” explained Candy Thomson of the DNR. “But it could be something more than that.”
The officers informed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the eagles and gave them all evidence.
The Washington Times noted the Idylwild Natural Area in Federalsburg is not far from the field. The DNR said hunters prefer the area since it houses “white-tailed deer, turkey, dove and waterfowl.”
The government removed the bald eagle from the endangered list but still placed it on a protection list. A person may receive a $100,000 fine and a year in prison for killing the national symbol.